You won’t live forever

When I was at school (which I liked greatly), I had a dear friend (who I still have) who had a t-shirt that read:

‘You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,

Live like you’ll live forever.’


As it turns out, this is not just a phrase they invented to sell self-esteem to teenage girls. It’s attributed to a chap called William Watson Purkey. His professional career includes service as a public school teacher, a U.S. Park Ranger, and a bomb disposal specialist in the US Air Force. He was a tenured full professor at the University of Florida as well as professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Now I don’t know much about well, any of those professions (apart from the Park Ranger. From Yogi the Bear). But it seems that as a tenured professor, people expect you to be fairly smart. (And to die at your desk, as that’s the only way to free up your tenure). Now I know in every institution, there’s someone who slips through the net (honestly, I went to uni and everything. I have a real job, with a desk, and TWO screens. Though I privately refer to my second screen as ‘helpful fat friend’ which makes my little screen feel better about herself). But I have to admit, even Americans ought to have slightly more rigorous vetting process. EVERYONE IS WATCHING WHEN YOU DANCE. ESPECIALLY IF YOU LOOK WEIRD. Which you will do, if you’re dancing ‘like there’s nobody watching’. You’ll be pulling out odd things like the funky chicken being subsumed by the robot takeover in a supermarket while you put things in your shopping basket. That shit’ll go viral.

Luckily, my friend has stopped wearing her shirt. And instead we have been able to learn valuable lessons from ‘Scouting for Girls’, whose aptly titled song ‘Posh Girls’ states:

Posh girls have good manners, but they go like the clappers,
Because they never got to hang around with boys at school.

I’m just waiting for someone to put it on a t-shirt.

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