aging - aging 3 - youth

It takes a long time
to become young.

Pablo Picasso


Some people never seem to grow old.  Always active in thought, always ready to adopt new ideas, they are never chargeable to fogeyism.  Satisfied, yet ever dissatisfied, settled, yet ever unsettled, they always enjoy the best of what is, and are the first to find the best of what will be.

William Shakespeare

Each part of life has its own pleasures.  Each has its own abundant harvest, to be garnered in season.  We may grow old in body, but we need never grow old in mind and spirit.  No one is as old as to think he or she cannot live one more year.


Development can indeed continue beyond childhood and youth, beyond the seventies.  It can continue until the very end of life, given purposes that challenge and use our human abilities. . . . In sum, our development does not necessarily end at any age.  We can continue to develop into our eighties, even to our nineties.

Betty Friedan
We grow neither better or worse as we get old, but more like ourselves.

May L. Becker


The whole of life is a journey toward youthful old age, toward self-contemplation, love, gaiety, and, in a fundamental sense, the most gratifying time of our lives. . . .  "Old age" should be a harvest time when the riches of life are reaped and enjoyed, while it continues to be a special period for self-development and expansion.

Ashley Montague


Most people don't grow up.  Most people age.  They find parking
spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children,
and call that maturity.  What that is, is aging.

Maya Angelou


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The thing you are ripening toward is the fruit of your life.
It will make you bright inside, no matter what you
are outside.  It is a shining thing.

Stewart Edward White


What remains to me of strength becomes more precious for what is lost.
I have lost one ear, but was never so alive to sweet sounds as now.  My
sight is so far impaired that the brightness in which nature was revealed to
me in my youth is dimmed, but I never looked on nature with such pure
joy as now.  My limbs soon tire, but I never felt it such a privilege to
move about in the open air, under the sky in sight of the infinity of creation,
as at this moment.  I almost think that my simple food, eaten by rule, was
never relished so well.  I am grateful then for my earthly tabernacle,
though it does creak and shake not a little.

William Ellery Channing


Parts of the aging process are scary, of course, but the more we know about them,
the less they need be.  That is why I wish we were more deliberate, in our early years,
to prepare for this condition.  It would leave a lot of us freed to enjoy the obvious
rewards of being old. . . . What is important is that our dispassionate acceptance
of attrition be matched by a full use of everything that has ever happened in all
the long wonderful-ghastly years to free a person's mind from his or her body. . .
to use the experience, both great and evil, so that physical annoyances are
surmountable in an alert and even mirthful appreciation of life itself.

Mary Francis Kennedy Fisher


Youth is not a time of life--it is a state of mind.  Nobody grows old
by merely living a number of years; people grow old by deserting their ideals.
Years may wrinkle your skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles your soul.
You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubts; as young as your
self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.
In the central place of your heart there is a recording chamber; so long as it
receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage--so long are you young.
When the wires are all down and your heart is covered with the snow
of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then--and only then--are you grown old.

Samuel Ullman


When grace combines with wrinkles, it is admirable.  There is
an indescribable light of dawn about intensely happy old
age. . . . The young person is handsome, but the old, superb.

Victor Hugo


I believe the second half of one's life is meant to be better than
the first half.  The first half is finding out how you do it.
And the second half is enjoying it.

Francis Leak


The span of life vouchsafed us, three-score and ten,
is short enough, if the spirit gets too haughty and
wants to live forever; but on the other hand, it is
also long enough, if the spirit is a little humble. . . .
Anyone who is wise and has lived long enough to
witness the changes of fashion and morals
and politics through the rise and fall of three
generations should be perfectly content to
rise from his or her seat and go away saying
"It was a good show" when the curtain falls.

Lin Yutang


The great thing about getting older is that you
don't lose all the other ages you've been.

Madeleine L'Engle


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  aging - aging 3 - youth

You just donít make decisions about what youíre going to be like
when you are old.  I know that I am making that decision right now.
Every time we perceive ourselves, others, life, the world and God
in a certain way, we are deepening the habits that will take over in
old age.  Every time I act on the insights that I am getting now I am
deciding my future and choosing to be a kindly or cynical
old man.  Our yesterdays lie heavily upon our todays and
our todays will lie heavily upon our tomorrows.

John Powell


Up to one's last breath, one may retain the simple joys of childhood,
the poetic ecstasies of the young person, the enthusiasms
of maturity.  Right to the end, one may intoxicate one's spirit
with flowers, with beauty and with smiles.

Eliphas Levi


Youíre never too old to become younger.

Mae West


How old would you be, if you didnít know how old you was?

Satchel Paige

A human heart can never grow old if it takes a lively interest
in the pairing of birds, the reproduction of flowers, and the
changing tints of autumn leaves.

Lydia Maria Child

Physically, we get older and then we die.  Yet spiritually, whether we go
backward or forward is a matter not of the body but of consciousness.  When
we think about age differently, then our experience of it changes.  We can be
physically older but emotionally and psychologically younger.  Some of us were
in a state of decay in our 20s and are in a state of re-birth in our 60s or 70s.
King Solomon, who supposedly was the wisest of all men, described his youth
as his winter and his advanced years as his summer.  We can be older than
we used to be yet feel much younger than we are.

Marianne Williamson 

Never have I enjoyed youth so thoroughly as I have in my old age.  In writing Dialogues in Limbo, The Last Puritan, and now all these descriptions of the friends of my youth and the young friends of my middle age, I have drunk the pleasure of life more pure, more joyful, than it ever was when mingled with all the hidden anxieties and little annoyances of actual living.  Nothing is inherently and invincibly young except spirit.  And spirit can enter a human being perhaps better in the quiet of old age and dwell there more undisturbed than in the turmoil of adventure.  But it must be in solitude.  I do not need or desire to hobnob artificially with other old men in order to revisit them in their salad days, and to renew my own.  In Rome, in the eternal city, I feel nearer to my own past, and to the whole past and future of the world, than I should in any cemetery or in any museum of relics.  Old places and old persons in their turn, when spirit dwells in them, have an intrinsic vitality of which youth is incapable; precisely the balance and wisdom that comes from long perspectives and broad foundations.  Everything shines then for the spirit by its own light in its own place and time; but not as it shone in its own restless eyes.  For in its own eyes each person and each place was the centre of a universe full of threatening and tempting things; but old age, having less intensity at the centre has more clearness at the circumference, and knows that just because spirit, at each point, is a private centre for all things, no one point, no one phase of spirit is materially a public centre for all the rest.

George Santayana

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As I accepted the change of the golden hair of my childhood to the
reddish-brown hair of my youth without regret, so I also accept my
silver hair--and I am ready to accept the time when my hair and the
rest of my clay garment returns to the dust from which it came, while
my spirit goes on to freer living.  It is the season for my hair to be silver,
and each season has its lessons to teach.  Each season of life is
wonderful if you have learned the lessons of the season before.  It is
only when you go on with lessons unlearned that you wish for a return.

Peace Pilgrim

When Goya was 80 he drew an ancient man propped on
two sticks, with a great mass of white hair and beard all
over his face, and the inscription, "I am still learning."

Simone de Beauvoir


To know how to grow old is the master-work of wisdom, and
one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living.

Henri Frederic Amiel


  aging - aging 3 - youth

Today I am 65 years old. I still look good. I appreciate and enjoy my
age. A lot of people resist transition and therefore never allow themselves
to enjoy who they are. Embrace the change, no matter what it is; once
you do, you can learn about the new world you're in and take advantage
of it. You still bring to bear all your prior experience,
but you are riding on another level. It's completely liberating.

Nikki Giovanni

[Women's magazines] ignore older women or pretend that they donít
exist; magazines try to avoid photographs of older women, and when
they feature celebrities who are over sixty, "retouching artists" conspire
to "help" beautiful women look more beautiful, i.e., less than their age.
By now readers have no idea what a real womanís 60-year-old face
looks like in print because itís made to look 45. Worse, 60-year-old
readers look in the mirror and think they are too old, because theyíre
comparing themselves to some retouched face
smiling back at them from a magazine.

Dalma Heyn


Do not deprive me of my age.  I have earned it.

May Sarton
The Poet and the Donkey: A Novel

"If most of us surrender to the passing of years," says Mr. Kemp, "and let them make us old, but certain others defy the passage of an even greater number of years and retain the vigor and enjoyment of life associated with youth, can it be possible that aging is really our own fault?  Is the effect that passing years have on our bodies really an individual matter?  Here is what some modern medical scientists have to say upon this point.

"After a conference of medical and surgical specialists at the Decourcy Clinic in Cincinnati some years ago, the following report was issued:  'Time is not toxic.  All of those who develop a time-neurosis subscribe to the prevalent superstition that time is in some way a poison exerting a mysterious cumulative action. . . time has no effect on human tissues under any conditions. . . vigor does not necessarily vary inversely with the age of an adult.  Belief in the effects of time by those who subscribe to such a belief is the thing that acts as a poison.'

"To put it another way, there is no scientific basis for believing, as most of us do, that the passage of years automatically causes our bodies to age.  [And, presumably, that would go for spirit and mind as well.]  'It is ignorance of the truth about the passage of time,' the report continues, 'that causes us to cringe in fear before the accumulation of years.  We need not surrender to age, if our minds are sufficiently enlightened.'"

Mr. Kemp continues by telling us that a Michigan doctor, Frederick C. Swartz, debunked the so-called infirmities of age.  "'The forgetful mind, the doddering gait, the shaky hand--these are caused by the lack of physical and mental exertion, and not by the passage of time.  Our present conception of the aging process must be shattered, and our already brainwashed oldsters made to see the nature of their ailments.  Daily mental and physical exercise practiced with some degree of self-discipline should raise the life-expectancy figure ten years in one generation.'"

Norman Vincent Peale