Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust


我第一次讀Samuel Ullman的短文”Youth“,是在1996年在皖北讀初中的時候,和爺爺一起在縣城的一個書攤上買了一本《遼寧青年》雜誌。20年之後,這篇短文依然是我的座右銘。


我愛Youth. 每次讀這篇文章,我的心都會止不住震顫——如同回到那些日子:在周遭一片蔥綠的田野上騎著單車歌唱,在風起時凝視那些連綿不絕的白楊,在雪地上奔跑,在星空下寫詩,在夕陽下幻想,在黑夜裡狂舞,在圓月下流淚。


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 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.

青 春