Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind. It is not a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips, supple knees; it is a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is a freshness of the deep springs of life. Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite of adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man fifty more than a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years; people grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair, these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust. Whether seventy or seventeen there is in every being’s heart the love of wonder, the sweet amazement of the stars and starlight things and thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing child-like appetite for what is next, and the joy and the game of life.
You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.
In the central place of your heart, there is a sensitive station. So long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, grandeur, courage, and power from the earth, from men and from the Infinite, so long are you young.
I wish I had written the piece above. It has been one of my favorites since I found it in a long forgotten poetry book tucked away on a bookcase. It expresses my view of life about as well as anything I've read or written. I like to re-post this on my birthday and this year will be no exception. Don't fret over one more year, you can't stop it. Take what you have available in your tool kit and forge a new day filled with compassion and concern, wonder and enlightenment. Don't backup or backdown. Come at it full throttle and full force. Live it like they were coming to take it back tomorrow. Most importantly stop the complaining and start complimenting. You'll be amazed at the results. Thank you all for your birthday wishes. Now get moving