Youth (青春)

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.


Samuel Ullman, Poet
塞繆爾.烏爾曼 (詩人)

塞繆爾.烏爾曼 (1840-1924) 生於一個德國的猶太人家庭,11 歲時移居美國,70 多歲才開始寫作,其中以本詩《青春》最為知名。美國麥克阿瑟將軍成為二次世界大戰盟軍最高指揮官時,這首詩就在他日本東京的辦公室的牆上,做為自己的座右銘,並經常引用在其演講裡。


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