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On the Corner

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By Robert Docter –

 

… to be young at heart

that’s the direction we need to move. We can’t slow down the aging process … but we can stay young at heart.

It’s a choice.

There is an honesty about children — a frankness of response. They stand with open eyes while the scene observed, mundane to the adult, fills them with a sense of awe. They feel no need to disguise their feelings. In amazement, they fill themselves with life.

 

The young child, Christ, is straight and wise
And asks questions of the old men, questions
Found under running water for all children
And found under shadows thrown on still waters
By tall trees looking downward, old and gnarled.
Found to the eyes of children alone, untold,
Singing a low song in the loneliness.
And the young child, Christ, goes on asking
And the old men answer nothing and only know love
For the young child, Christ, straight and wise.

Carl Sandburg

The narrow minded among us have old hearts. They think small. Their impulses are negative. They know that the new venture can’t be done–it’s impossible–can never happen. There’s no sense of excitement–no willingness to risk. Maintaining safety is uppermost in their thoughts.

But when you’re young at heartlife gets more exciting with each passing day. There’s a vitality present–a sense of amazement–magnificent thrills explode within your consciousness–like a sunset, or a flower, or a baby’s laugh. People who are young at heart are moved–they are aware of their feelings, and unafraid of them. They’re open to new ideas while remaining grounded in a positive value system. They are filled with wonder.

To be young at heart is to feel a newness of adoration–a freshness of connection–a sweet smell of anticipation when there is contact with someone deeply loved. Nothing is “old hat.” Everything is new–each touch, each glance, each word. Youthful passion burns anew in youthful hearts.

That passion includes a relationship with God–for youthful hearts provide a residence for God. He is in them.

Youthful hearts pursue growth. They resist stagnation. Because they are unafraid of change, they accept it and embrace it. Maturity itself poses no peril. Its reasonable impositions are accepted. Consequences are tools of learning. Youthful hearts know they are neither special nor common. They recognize they live in a world populated with others, and they modify their behavior appropriately.

To be young at heart is to be faithful and true to promises made, even when there are miles to go there are promises to keep. They fall in love with the one they love over and over again. Each change which life delivers only promises new opportunities. You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams… Aging brings no threat. Loss is grieved and overcome. Disappointment is never the harbinger of despair. Hope is alive. Don’t you know that it’s worth every treasure on earth when you’re young at heart.

When you’re young at heart you live in the present–this extravagant instant between past and future. The past has provided its lessons. They are learned, but they can be used only in the present. There is a beautiful sensation of aloneness when one lives fully in the present. It is not a lonely place, for the youthful heart confronts reality with confidence and self worth.

Life is for the living…and it goes on…and here is the best part–you’ll have a head start if you are among the very young at heart.

(“Young at Heart” by Leigh and Richards)

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