Youth

Miscellanies 2007.10.10 01:32

Youth

- by Samuel Ullmann

 

 

 

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind;

it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and

supple knees; it is a matter of the will, quality

of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is

the freshness of the deep springs of life.

 

 

Youth means a temperamental predominance

of courage over timidity of the appetite, for

adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in

a man of sixty more than a boy of twenty. Nobody

grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old

by deserting our ideals.

 

 

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up

enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-

distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.

 

 

Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human

being's heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing child-

like appetite of what's next, and the joy of the game

of living. In the center of your heart and my heart

there is a wireless station; so long as it receives

messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power

from men and from the infinite, so long are you

young.

 

 

When the aerials are down, and your spirit is covered

with snows of cynicism and the ice of pessimism, then

you are grown old, even at twenty, but as long as

your aerials are up, to catch the waves of optimism,

there is hope you may die young at eighty.

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