I am grateful for young hopes.

Old couple dancing

Photo attribution: AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by J.C. Rojas

This one is for the not-too-young, and it’s beautiful. It’s a writeup from Steve Goodier:

Author and television personality Hugh Downs reported some good news for seniors. He said that when older adults are properly motivated, their intelligence does not wane. In fact, the ability to organize thinking may actually increase as folks age. Many people in their 50’s, 60’s and even 70’s can go through college with greater efficiency than at 18.Adults over 70 years of age have contributed richly and in varied ways.

  • Emmanuel Kant wrote his finest philosophical works at age 74.
  • Verdi at 80 produced “Falstaff” and at 85, “Ave Maria.”
  • Goethe was 80 when he completed “Faust.”
  • Tennyson was 80 when he wrote “Crossing the Bar.”
  • Michelangelo completed what may have been his greatest work at age 87.
  • At age 90, Justice Holmes was still writing brilliant American Supreme Court opinions.

And then there’s George Dawson. George learned to read at age 98. (He was forced to quit school when he was a small child in order to help support his family.) “I got tired of writing my name with an ‘X,'” he said. Four years later, at age 102, he co-authored his autobiography, LIFE IS SO GOOD, published by Random House.

Dreams are renewable. They need not expire like an over-due library book. No matter our age, we can breathe new life into old dreams. In fact, we have to renew our dreams, or else they will wither away altogether.

I don’t want to spend my life so busy looking back that I lose interest in what lies ahead. As I age, I will have old memories. But I also want a few young hopes.

After all, dreams are renewable.

~ Steve Goodier
(but emphases in bold are mine)

Perhaps what I am grateful for is vindication: vindication that age is all in the head, that time is what we make of it, that we are only as incapable as the things we refuse to try, that we are as brave as the things we throw ourselves into, heart, soul, air-punch, war-cry and flaming pennant. May we never believe that we are EVER too old to begin something we want to experience, learn or do; to continue something we love; or end something that no longer makes sense to us. May we never believe those who tell us that it’s time to give up our youthfulness. May we never lose our sense of fun, wonder and imagination. May we always have young hopes. 

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