Age has always been just a number to me. I can still do most of what I did as a kid. I can run in the open without a care in the world, play football like my life depended on it, party hard, play video games with my 10 year old cousin, read kiddy books, watch kiddy movies... but the good thing about being where I am is that in addition to all that I can appreciate a mature relationship, admire nature, understand myself better and drive my own car!!! I've decided I'm not going to age.
Recently, I had a bad fall while playing football. So I went to the neighbourhood doctor for an injection and he asked me which grade I was in. It was hilarious. I told him I graduated from college a few years ago.
My body may age but the one thing I will not allow is my spirit to grow old. I often turn to this little essay that appeared in Reader's Digest '91 by Samuel Ullman. It's about 'Youth' and it is something I have grappled to my soul. Here goes...
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, a quality of the imagination, a vigour 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 60 more than a boy of 20. 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 60 or 16, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing childlike appetite of what’s next and the joy of the game of living.
In the centre 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 20, but as long as your aerials are up, to catch waves of optimism, there is hope you may die young at 80.
I will die young.