It is a pleasant surprise to learn from spaces statistics that a large portion of visits of this site come from web search in Baidu or Google China by the key words "youth" or "youth is not a time of life". I understand that I must have disappointed some friends because there is not a full-text "Youth" here. That’s why I paste it here again. I also have an mp3 version of this essay, please simply email me by
(ieemdai "at" gmail "dot" com).
I read the Chinese version of this
prestigious prose poem "Youth" by Samuel Ullman eleven years ago, when I
was a junior middle school student. I love this essay. Indeed, it
has become my permanent motto. Every day I recite it for several times. The spirit explicitly
exhibited in "Youth" shall inspire us to push limits, to seek responses
in times of uncertainty, and to fulfill our "unfading childlike dreams."
Youth by Samuel Ullman
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 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 body 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.