Monday, 6 July 2015

A Father's Dos and Don'ts for his Daughter

I love writing lists, but my jaw dropped when I found out someone has actually put together an entire blog on the subject. It's called Lists of Note and it's dedicated to the world's most intriguing lists written by noteworthy people. My favourite is F. Scott Fitzgerald's heart-warming list added to the end of a letter he wrote to his 11-year-old daughter, Scottie, about things to worry about, not worry about and simply think about. 
"Things to worry about:
Worry about courage
Worry about cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship
Things not to worry about:
Don't worry about popular opinion
Don't worry about dolls
Don't worry about the past
Don't worry about the future
Don't worry about growing up
Don't worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don't worry about triumph
Don't worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don't worry about mosquitoes
Don't worry about flies
Don't worry about insects in general
Don't worry about parents
Don't worry about boys
Don't worry about disappointments
Don't worry about pleasures
Don't worry about satisfactions
Things to think about:
What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:
(a) Scholarship
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?
With dearest love,

In short: most things are really not worth worrying about.

(Letter quoted from Lists of Note, but originally taken from F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters)


  1. Funnily enough these are all things that I have focused on this year. Except perhaps, worrying about my horsemanship and dolls! x

  2. Sounds like you're on the right tracks - F Scott was v intuitive. I'm definitely thinking about not neglecting my body...

  3. I'm sure he would've also have agreed with Baz Luhrmann - Wear sunscreen.