Youth Samuel Ullman
Youth is not a time of life ― it is a state of mind ;
it is a temper of the will, a quality of the imagina‐
tion, a vigor of the emotions, a predominance of
courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure
over love of ease.
Nobody grows old by merely living a number of
years ; people grow old only by deserting their ideals.
Years 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 sixteen, there is in every
being's heart the love of wonder, the sweet amaze‐
ment at the stars and the starlike things and
thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, the
unfailing childlike appetite for what 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
So long as your heart receives messages of beauty,
cheer, courage, grandeur and power from the earth,
from man and from the Infinite, so long you are
When the wires are all down and all the central
place of your heart is covered with the snows of
pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then you are
grown old indeed and may God have mercy on your
Given to MacArthur some years ago
by Jhon W. Lewis. It is based on
a poem written by the late Samuel
Ullman of Birmingham, Ala.