Owlish Contemplations

The Concept of Youth

I believe our culture has a very skewed view on what “youth” means … something elusive that so many try to hold onto and re-capture again and again – sorrowful when it leaves, and spending all their older days reminiscing about when they owned it. This, I believe, is the wrong view to have – and nothing more encapsulates my feelings than this quote from General Douglas MacArthur, which I absolutely LOVE (thanks to Sam & Jessica for giving it to me):

“Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste for adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn’t grow old because he has lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal. The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul. Preoccupations, fears, doubts, and despair are the enemies which slowly bow us toward earth and turn us into dust before death. you will remain young as long as you are open to what is beautiful, good and great; receptive to the messages of other men and women, of nature, and of God. If one day you should become bitter, pessimistic, and gnawed by despair, may God have mercy on your old man’s soul.”

-General Douglas MacArthur

This is what I will strive to remember now, while I am still physically and chronologically young … and may my mind and heart ever stay young as I continue down life’s journey, so full of hopes, dreams, and ideals. This is the best (and only) way to fully enjoy life and just exactly where God has placed you.

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