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

在這個分心之物(distraction)無處不在的世界上,一個人還可能“座右銘”麼?今天,“座右銘”這個詞還有意義麼?

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。

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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。

那些一無所有且毫無畏懼的日子。

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 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

塞繆爾·厄爾曼

青春不是年華,而是心境;青春不是桃面、丹唇、柔膝,而是深沉的意志,恢宏的想像,炙熱的戀情;青春是生命的深泉在湧流。

青春氣貫長虹,勇銳蓋過怯弱,進取壓倒苟安。如此銳氣,二十後生而有之,六旬男子則更多見。年歲有加,並非垂老,理想丟棄,方墮暮年。

歲月悠悠,衰微只及肌膚;熱忱拋卻,頹廢必致靈魂。憂煩,惶恐,喪失自信,定使心靈扭曲,意氣如灰。

無論年屆花甲,擬或二八芳齡,心中皆有生命之歡樂,奇跡之誘惑,孩童般天真久盛不衰。人人心中皆有一台天線,只要你從天上人間接受美好、希望、歡樂、勇氣和力量的信號,你就青春永駐,風華常存。

一旦天線下降,銳氣便被冰雪覆蓋,玩世不恭、自暴自棄油然而生,即使年方二十,實已垂垂老矣;然則只要樹起天線,捕捉樂觀信號,你就有望在八十高齡告別塵寰時仍覺年輕。

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