"Youth is a State of Mind"

by Didier Marlier on Saturday July 9th, 2011

Ben Clayton-Jolly, one of our partners running Inspiring Leadership, sent me the following poem by Samuel Ullman. I found it profound and moving and chose to leave it with you, as a hopeful inspiration during the few weeks during which I will be traveling and unable to write on this blog. Thank you Ben, I hope you all enjoy it!

“Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind.
It is a temper of the will,
A quality of the imagination,
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 they are sixteen or seventy,
There is in every being’s heart
The love of wonder,
The sweet amazement at the stars
And star like things and thoughts,
The undaunted challenge of events,
The unfailing childlike appetite
For what is to come 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.
When the wires are all down
And all the innermost core of your heart
Is covered with the snows of pessimism
And the ice of cynicism,
Then you are grown old indeed.
But 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 young.”

When I read this poem, I think of my 83 years old parents who seem eternally young and understand now the source of their generous youth.

On my way this week to Frankfurt, Paris and Geneva, then flying to the US for 3 weeks. I will be in São-Paulo from August 7th to 27th to actively support the opening of our office there and meet whomever of you is interested. I will be a speaker at CONARH on August 15th. No more posts on this blog until September. Have a great Summer/Winter break all!


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2 Responses to “"Youth is a State of Mind"”

  1. so simple, so true.While I keep wondering for future smiles and sunny days, I·ll be forever young somewhere!

  2. Hi Didier,

    What an AMAZING poem. Really truly touching and profound. And it is so true. Thank you for sharing this, I really enjoyed this.

    Have a great summer and I look forward to hearing from you again in September.




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