The late 90’s were given a theme song when Baz Luhrman put Chicago Tribune’s columnist & poet’s Mary Schmich’s love letter to the next generation to music. Ms. Schmich original intention was for her words to act as “Guide to Life” for the Class of ’97, suitably beginning with an acknowledgement of science behind the dangers of ultraviolet radiation on the skin that became forever attached to the title most of us remember, Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen). The “to wear sunscreen” part was in parenthesis for a reason: the real meat are the two words that come first: Everyone’s Free.
Freedom means many things to many people. While it is generally accepted that what helps keep a free society functioning is some degree of rule and regulation for the greater good, exactly to what degree and what needs to be regulated is not something everyone agrees on and spends a lot of time trying to convince others that our way is the right way.
“Tikkun Olam” in Hebrew means “repairing the world,” and as we reach outwards to effect change that may, or may not happen, Ms. Schmich was reminding us of the importance of doing what are all free to do: make a difference on a personal level. People may forget what we say, but never how we make them feel.
Human Kindness: Relegated to December but Needed All Year Next Post:
National Coming Out Day: Why It Still Matters!