In June 1, 1997 a fictional commencement address by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich became an international sensation when friends and family who read the Chicago Tribune e-mailed the advice around the world. Somehow the article was credited as a real commencement address at MIT by Kurt Vonnegut. But it was an article inspired by Mary Smich’s walk to work one morning. She saw a woman basking in the sun and thought “that girl should be wearing sunscreen.” Beside sunscreen advice, of course, the article is filled with a range of advice that is sometimes mundane and trivial and sometimes deeply philosophical.
Advice about worry? The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your mind; the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. On some idle Tuesday.
Advice on relationships? Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Advice on dental care? Floss
The article ended up as a hit song by film director Baz Luhrmann in 1999.