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How young are you? No really. How young are you? Notice I'm being very intentional with my words. Often we say, "I am ____ years old" but how often do we call ourselves young? While driving one of my passengers for Uber, they introduced me to a wonderful philosophy. The idea is that we are all young. We are young if we want to be, choose to be, and believe we are.
"Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are." ~Muhammad Ali
Age can simply be how you feel. One of my good friends always tells me that there are two types of people in the world: Young people and old people. And it really has nothing to do with age. My Uber passenger explained to me that he would always ask people "How young are you?". He also stated that his grandmother is eighty-six years young. Youth is in the mind.
I can recall meeting a lady at a local grocery store who was up in age. You might even label her as an elderly woman. I have tremendous respect for my elders, but I couldn't help but notice that this lady was very sprightly. Just off our initial contact, she seemed to be even more active than me. Then I noticed that this lady also had large amounts of vascularity on her arms. I have a lot of veins on my arms myself from regular exercise, boxing and punching bags in the gym. I was amazed that this lady, who was most certainly much older than me, looked and seemed much younger. There was a spirit of vigor inside her. I decided to strike up a conversation and said, "Wow, you have arms like me!"
She then replied, "Oh, I do a lot of garden work you know. I typically stay very busy."
One of my uncles who lives here in California is seventy-five years young. He wakes up early every day and can be seen constantly going around the house fixing things. To this day he has never stopped challenging himself. I told him that I wish to be half the man he is when I turn seventy-five. He just smiled and said, "You know, I probably won't get Alzheimer's or anything like that because I'm too busy!" I think he has a valid point.
"To me, if life boils down to one thing, it's movement. To live is to keep moving." ~Jerry Seinfeld
I believe that we can always be youthful. Remember that we don't stop playing when we get old. We get old when we stop playing. As years go by and our numerical age increases we are either getting older every day or younger. Youth is really a mental state. We can choose to keep learning. Keep discovering and continue living a fulfilling life. So I ask you. On your next birthday, will you be one year older or another year younger?
By Jerome Shaw. Find me on Twitter and Instagram: @jromeshaw.
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