The story goes that some time ago a man punished his 3-year old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became angry when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree. Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, “This is for you, Daddy.” He was embarrassed by his earlier over reaction, but his anger flared again when he found that the box was empty. He yelled at her, “Don’t you know when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside it?” The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, “Oh, Daddy, it’s not empty, I blew kisses into the box. All for you, Daddy.” The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness. An accident took the life of the child only a short time later and it is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for many years and whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there. In a very real sense, each of us as humans, have been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, friends, family or God. Nobody’s love for us is less, our expectations are more!
Youth is not entirely a time of life — it is a state of mind. It is not wholly a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips, or supple knees. It is a temper of will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions.
Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fears; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.
In the central place of every heart, there is a recording chamber; so long as it receives messages of beauty and hope, cheer and courage, you are young.
When the wires are all down and your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then and only then have you grown old.