Because: Yesterday someone posted the Buz Luhrmann-ified “Wear Sunscreen” video on Facebook. My obsession with my constant search for the next favorite quote had me paying close attention to the words, perhaps for the first time ever considering this hit its popularity when I was still in elementary school. One of my favorite lines is quoted above, though I value many other parts of this essay, as well. The origin of the song is the essay “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young” by Mary Schmich, published in the Chicago Tribune on June 1, 1997. Give it (re)read; I think everyone stands to gain something.
Because: It’s been an unsettling and tragic past couple of weeks, from the devastating attacks in Norway, to the deaths of friends of friends and the passing of Amy Winehouse, all untimely. In the wake of it all, I’ve spent a substantial amount of time reflecting on this concept of what comes next, what we do after it all. How do we deal, honor and move forward? I think this heartfelt essay with a moral to it all by Russell Brand exemplifies the most positive, respectful manner in which we can. (“Russell Brand on Amy Winehouse: ‘We have lost a beautiful, talented woman.’”)
We have to take what we can learn from these individuals, their losses and move forward. Whether it is changes such as reviewing “the way society treats addicts,” as Russell Brand suggests, or something in our personal behavior, progress and improvement are the best way we can honor the lives of those we lose.
Because: This is an essay by a Hispanic, upper-middle class woman living New York City who children, parents, sales attendants, etc. often assume is her daughter’s babysitter rather than mother. It is a frank essay that refrains from being accusatory, all the while forcing one to reflect on the assumptions we make, the typcasting we do every day and even what the face of America is, or at least a New York city middle/upper class parent.