Youth - A Poem by Samuel Ullman - The Most Motivational Poem I have Ever Come Across

I dont know when i came across this Poem. I think it was in one of those old Reader's Digests. This Poem has remained in my conscious and sub conscious mind for all the time. When ever i felt lost or felt let down or felt burnt out, i would recall the lines of the Poem and Life began fresh again for me.

Before the poem, let me say a few words about Samuel Ullman -

Samuel Ullman was a former confedate soldier, businessman, a very religious man and a poet too. At the age of 78 he wrote his most popular and motivating poem "Youth" - An optimistic Celebration of Youth.

He wrote: "Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years; people grow old by deserting their ideals."

With a wave of optimism, the poem became a favorite of General Douglas MacArthur who framed and hung Ullman's words in his offices in Manila and Tokyo.

"Whether seventy or sixteen, there is in every being’s heart a love of wonder" Ullman said.

Youth was published in the Japanese version of Reader's Digest in 1946. The poem became an inspiration for the Japanese recovery after World War II. He remains popular in Japan today.

"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," he said.

This Poem has motivated the japanese after the World War II to come out of the ashes like a Phoenix and Build one of the best Economies.

The Poem

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 body 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.
I hope all those who read this on this blog will take the poem to their hearts and minds as i have done and recall it in the times of travails.
I have a minature modification of the poem as My Motto
"Youth Is the State Of The Mind, Not The State Of Being"


Anonymous said…
Very thoughtfull post . It should be very much helpfull

Karim - Positive thinking

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