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Fountain of Youth

August 13, 2010

Is the Fountain of Youth an elixir that makes you eternally young?

Perhaps, but what does “young” mean?

For me, “young” is determined not by one’s physical appearance, but their inner vitality. To be truly young, one must be “young at heart”. The importance of having a youthful spirit was probably most famously conveyed by Jesus: “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 18:3). If we are to truly appreciate the world that has been given to us, it is clear that we must become like children, as only a child can see the world as it truly is, with eyes unclouded.

So then, what is it that a child possesses that adults lack? To list a few important traits:

1. Children do not have prejudice, the greatest of all evils.

2. Children do not give up on their dreams.

3. Children are open-minded, and will not reject something because of personal bias.

4. Children are not afraid to express their thoughts and feelings.

5. Children depend on other people to support and care for them.

It is these things that make children child-like, and the loss of these qualities is what causes a child to be transformed in the miserable and pathetic existence that is an adult. Is the independence and power that comes with being an adult really worth these sacrifices? Should power and independence ever be that important, when we consider the havoc that it has wrecked on Society as whole? I must strongly contend that it is not worth it– Far from it!

There are advantages to being a child and being an adult, that I acknowledge. I think that it’s good for all children to be a bit precocious even early on in life. But with both children and adults, I think we can learn from each other; there should be an adult in every child, and a child in every adult– the lesson here is moderation, and ultimately Balance. Finding a way to merge the qualities of a child and of an adult into one’s values as a person should be one of the most valued pursuit humanity should aspire to; for our world to lose the precociousness of adulthood and the innocence of childhood, both of these should be a grave loss indeed.

If only in leisure time, everyone should drink a little bit from the proverbial Fountain of Youth, so that we might not forget what it means to be a child, and through the vitality of youth learn to appreciate life more each day; to embrace the Beauty that is life everywhere, such an aspiration would indeed prove to be truly invaluable.

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