youth

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

Konon kabarnya, kata-kata yang dalam maknanya itu diucapkan oleh Jenderal McArthur untuk memberi semangat kepada US Navy jaman PD II dulu. Dan gue setuju seratus persen dengan setiap kata dalam puisi(?) di atas.

Banyak orang yang suka menyebut ‘young at heart’. It is indeed. It is in your heart, it is in your mind. Ada psikolog yang pernah bilang bahwa manusia adalah makhluk yang suka bermain. Prinsip ini juga yang dipakai oleh salah satu produk handphone ternama dalam mendesain dan memasarkan produknya. Dan jiwa suka bermain terdapat pada anak kecil, dan anak muda. Dan seringkali, seiring bertambahnya usia, kita kemudian berusaha untuk menyesuaikan diri dengan ‘kedewasaan’ tersebut dan tumbuh menjadi tua –grow old, dan bukannya grow wise.

Lihatlah anak kecil. Mereka lebih bijaksana daripada orang dewasa –karena mereka murni, positif, tanpa prasangka, tanpa pretensi. Orang dewasa lah yang mengotori jiwa-jiwa mereka dengan ketakutan, dengan takhyul dan mitos. Anak kecil selalu berpikir positif, berani bermimpi dan memiliki pandangan-pandangan ideal versi mereka. We grow old by deserting our ideals, kata Samuel Ullman di atas. Mungkin boleh juga sekali-kali jadi autistic, let our mind and soul refresh, find (again) our ideals and go wild ;p

So as I come up with my resolution, I’ve decided that I want to be like what Mr. Ullman described. Try not to let my soul wrinkle. Then who knows, if God allows, I might be lucky to die young at eighty…

“In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station… (Let’s play. Let the game reloaded)”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s