Thursday, March 10, 2011

Advice to a Daughter

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The other day I found a book on my bookshelf, one of those enticing little nuggets found at a yard sale or some such place. I'd completely forgotten I own The Book of Lists by David Wallechingsky, Irving Wallace, and Amy Wallace. I do remember that it was old even when I bought it, but it just seemed like a good thing on which to blow an extravagant 25 cents, ya know?

Since this is the week of International Women's Day, I thought today would be a good day to list "F. Scott Fitzgerald's 21 pieces of advice to his daughter on living," originally from Fitzgerald's Letters to His Daughter, edited by Andrew Turnbull (New York: Scribner. 1965). I'm not big on worry, but maybe he meant something like "concern yourself with." In any case, I like most of what F. Scott had to say to his daughter, Scottie. See what you think...

1.   Worry about courage.
2.   Worry about cleanliness.
3.   Worry about efficiency.
4.   Worry about horsemanship.
5.   Don't worry about popular opinion.
6.   Don't worry about dolls.
7.   Don't worry about the past.
8.   Don't worry about the future.
9.   Don't worry about growing up
10. Don't worry about anyone getting ahead of you.
11. Don't worry about triumph.
12. Don't worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault.
13. Don't worry about mosquitoes.
14. Don't worry about flies.
15. Don't worry about insects in general.
16. Don't worry about parents.
17. Don't worry about boys.
18. Don't worry about disappointments.
19. Don't worry about pleasures.
20. Don't worry about satisfactions.
21. Think about: What am I really aiming at?

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