Youth is Only a State of Mind

This is my musing on The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Forever Young.”

If there were a real Fountain of Youth I wouldn’t take a drink of the water.

I’d be tempted to…but I wouldn’t.

I have my reasons. One of them being that “youth” is a concept that can be shaped and changed, depending on your definition. It can be a state of mind: many people say you’re only as young as you feel and I think that’s true. I’ve met people older than me who still have that mischievous glint in their eye or that urge to dance at random moments. That, to me, is youth. We can turn this carefree attitude on and off, we can be youthful whenever we choose.

Another reason why I wouldn’t drink from the Fountain of Youth is because youth often implies a certain carelessness or carefree attitude. When you think of the word “youth” you think of a very young person, maybe someone lacking in experience or knowledge. I wouldn’t trade the knowledge and experiences I’ve gained as I’ve grown older for anything, not even youth. I’m grateful for that hindsight because it’s given me perspective in life. When you’re young, you’re still learning and discovering things about the world. You’re also confused, frustrated and impatient while you wait to become an adult.

The third and final reason why I wouldn’t want everlasting youth is because nothing lasts forever. If youth lasted forever, we wouldn’t look back on our younger days with a sense of longing and nostalgia. There’s a time and place for everything, and that includes youth. There’s a time to grow and take responsibility as an adult but I like that there’s also a time to let loose and be a kid again.

People talk about the “Fountain of Youth” but I think that’s overrated. It’s other things like memories and wisdom and gratitude that we have to chase–not temporary things.

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