Sunday, August 28, 2016

YOUTH by Samuel Ullman


YOUTH
Youth is not a time of life - it is a state of mind,
it is a temper of the will,
a quality of the imagination,
a vigour of the emotions, 
a predominance of courage over timidity, 
of the appetite for adventure over love of ease. 

Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. 
People grow old only by deserting their ideals. 
Years wrinkle the skin, 
but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. 
Worry, doubt, self-distrust, 
fear and despair - these are the long, 
long years that bow the head 
and turn the growing spirit back to dust. 

Whether they are sixteen or seventy, 
there is in every being's heart 
the love of wonder, 
the sweet amazement at the stars 
and starlike things and thoughts, 
the undaunted challenge of events, 
the unfailing childlike appetite 
for what is to come next, 
and the joy and the game of life. 

You are as young as your faith, 
as old as your doubt; 
as young as your self-confidence, 
as old as your fear, 
as young as your hope, 
as old as your despair. When the wires are all down 
and all the innermost core of your heart 
is covered with the snows of pessimism 
and the ice of cynicism, 
then you are grown old indeed. 

But so long as your heart receives messages 
of beauty, cheer, courage, grandeur 
and power from the earth, 
from man and from the Infinite, 
so long you are young. 


This is posted as background for my next blog post.
I looked to see if the poem is copyrighted but several different versions
 are widely available on the web.  I like this one best.

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