The Follies of Youth

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What is it to be young? Is it about the heart? The so-called boundless optimism of youth? After being a young man for the past twenty odd years, I've decided that these things are fantasies.

My buddy Asher feels that everything he does must be the best it's ever been. He's barely twenty-two, but for some reason he believes that if he doesn't make it as a musician now, it's never going to happen. He's constantly talking about the single he's working on, as if this is what's going to make or break him. I don't understand this at all.

The scary truth is, no matter what hurt you go through when you're young, you're going to go through worse as you get older. My problems of boyhood which seemed daunting, to say the least, have since faded into memory. The longer you stay alive, the more perspective you have on the events of your life, and the more appropriate it is to say, "This is the worst thing ever."

The average life span of a man is, I believe, seventy four years old. For a woman it's more like seventy eight. By the time I'm in my seventies, given the current increases in life expectency, it'll be common to live into your early nineties. The way I look at it, I've barely lived a quarter of my life.

But for some reason, youth doesn't believe in time. We feel like a mad dash to the finish is necessary, "LIFE MUST START NOW!!!" we scream. We don't realize that our life is already going on. We're already on the track.

My friends scare me with their efforts to push themselves forward. I want to asure them that there's no need to hurry, but they never really believe me. They don't understand that we're just barely getting rid of our training wheels, and that real life hasn't yet fallen into our laps. It seems that some of them won't be happy until they've either killed themselves or damaged themselves beyond repair.

What it all comes down to is this: The grim reaper may always be waiting for us, but that doesn't mean that we should rush to greet him. The simple fact of the matter, there's always time to be the person that you want to be. There is almost no mistake that you can't rectify over the course of a lifetime. My plea to you all is to not rush young people. Remind them that there will be more loves, more break-ups, more friends and more enemies. More hardship, more success, more failure and more glory. As a great man once said, "Time is on my side. Yes it is. Time is on my side."

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