Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

Nunca pensé que, sin estar sometida a tortura, mostraría en público admiración por Steve Jobs. No es nada personal. Simplemente Apple y yo no congeniamos excesivamente. Además, me hace gracia que los Apple-fanáticos vayan siempre con el cuento de que son “independientes y únicos” cuando su CEO (aka. Director Ejecutivo) lo primero que hizo al volver a la compañía fue firmar un acuerdo con Mocosoft para, entre otras cosas, disponer del Office en sus ordenadores (como observaréis, “los otros” tampoco me caen excesivamente bien). Pero eso es otra historia.

Hace un rato he tenido la oportunidad de ver esto:

Es un discurso que dio Jobs en la Universidad de Stanford, en el año 2005. Y me ha dejado los pelos como escarpias. Tal cual. La franqueza de sus palabras, la familiaridad de su discurso, lo revelador del contenido… me han hecho descubrir en ese hombre una faceta de magnífico orador que no conocía. Me ha gustado mucho. Siempre he expresado mi admiración hacia la gente que SABE hablar en público. Que es capaz de llegar a la audiencia y conseguir que sus palabras tengan más efecto que el darles un motivo para pensar en cualquier otra cosa durante 15 minutos.

Ese discurso me ha hecho recordar mi graduación en la Facultad y darme cuenta de que, al margen de lo emotiva que fuese para mí por su significado, no recuerdo el contenido exacto del discurso de ninguno de los padrinos. Sé que en ese momento me emocionaron. Quizá el no tener documentación gráfica o escrita de la ceremonia lo dificulta. Quién sabe. Han pasado unos cuantos años, pero me gusta que el “regusto” general sea bueno.

Sí recuerdo otras intervenciones públicas, más o menos desafortunadas, en las que el orador trataba de envolver una idea chiquitita en palabras gigantes y grandilocuentes, tratando de disimular de ese modo que no era mucho lo que tenía que transmitir. Una lástima. Y me he dado cuenta de que lo importante es el mensaje, no el envoltorio. Cuando el mensaje es bueno, el resto sale solo.

Hace un tiempo descubrí, trasteando por la red, una columna que Mary Schmich publicó en el Chicago Tribune en 1997 y que popularmente se conoce como “Wear sunscreen”, aunque su título real es “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young”. Es sencilla, es directa y, sobre todo, tiene toda la razón. Es una guía de la vida para graduados, pero creo que podría servir para cualquiera:

“Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen”.

(Os dejo aquí  una traducción, por si alguien lo prefiere)

En uno y otro caso, ambos tienen toda la razón.

 

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