Youth vs. Old Age
A “Wally Dittie”
Youth is not a time of life. It is a state of mind.
It is not a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips and supple knees,
It is a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination,
A vigor of the emotions, it is a freshness of the deep springs of life.
Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, of
the appetite for adventure over love of ease. This often exists
in a man of fifty more than a boy of twenty.
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 seventy or sixteen, there is in every being’s heart the love of
wonder: the sweet amazement at the stars and the starlike things and thoughts
the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing, childlike
appetite for what’s next, and the joy of the game of life.
You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubts; as young as your
self confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.
In the central place of your heart there is a wireless station;
so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage, grandeur
and power from the earth, from men and from God; so long you are young.
When the wires are all down and all the central place of your heart
is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then are
you grown old indeed.
May we ever be young in our thoughts and actions, I pray.
-- Wally Bryson