Thursday, October 09, 2008

“A youth thoughtless, when all the happiness of his home forever depends on the chances or the passions of an hour! A youth thoughtless, when the career of all his days depends on the opportunity of a moment! A youth thoughtless, when his every action is a foundation-stone of future conduct, and every imagination a fountain of life or death! Be thoughtless in any after years, rather than now.” Ruskin.

In youth life beats with its fastest pulse, the powers mature with quick unfolding, and almost before we are aware of what has happened, the boys and girls of yesterday meet and greet us as the men and women of the present…..

The Bible is true to the literary instincts and the experience of men in assigning a special value to this period of our career. The experience of youth suggest the vision of the ideal; the young men of a nation are conceived of as its greatest treasure; and the renewal of youth is regarded as the greatest blessing that comes from the Divine hand. Nevertheless, the Apostle Paul writes to Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth,” thus intimating that youth stands in special danger of bringing itself into disrepute. It has its own peculiar faults. Its follies have become proverbial. It lacks knowledge and discipline and restraint. It squanders its magnificent energies with the utmost prodigality. It is careless, restless, impulsive, assertive.
If we would discover the essential characteristic of the young, let us remember that the youth is he who has suddenly come into possession of prodigious and unexpected energies. Not slowly do these powers develop within us; they come, rather, as Minerva is fabled to have sprung from the head of Jupiter, full grown and fully equipped. They are forced upon us long before we have gained any adequate idea of that outer world to which they must be adjusted; and for the time being they seem to defy restraint. It would be strange indeed if this sudden development did not give rise to faults and follies, as well as to noble ambitions and generous enthusiams.
In like manner the accumulating energies of youth are bound to spend themselves in some way; and where no safe and regular occupation is afforded, they are liable to break through all restraints and run riot in the most wanton manner. In the experience of the race it is generally the young who sound the deepest abysses of profligacy and shame. No one expects wild oats to be sown by greybeards. If you continue long without some legitimate outlet for your energy, there will be a terrific explosion some day, and a consequent moral wreck.
To train the energies to harmonious and concentrated action, is a more difficult feat than to train a dozen fiery colts to charge abreast in a ring.

Charles Henry Keays, M.A. - Photo by Mark Skalinski


Mel said...

I attended a financial seminar a few weekends ago and learned this staggering statistic:

If, at the age of 20, a person starts investing $2,000 a year ($167 per month) in a long-standing compound-interest mutual fund that has consistently shown a return of 12% over the years, and if the person continues to invest $2,000 per year until they turn 28 (that's a $16,000 total investment over an 8-year period), by the time they turn 70, they will have $3.6 million.

I was so excited when I heard this that I started telling it to everyone I know who is younger than or anywhere in the vacinity of 20 years of age.

The response has pretty much been the same. The older people I've mentioned it to are flabbergasted and wish that they had known it when they were 20. The younger people I've told it to have a "Yeah? So what?" type of attitude.

Why, oh why, do we not seek and value wisdom when we're young and have our entire lives ahead of us to reap its benefits?

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred!

Youth's energy channelled in the proper direction will produce outstanding results. Take China for example. They won the maximum number of medals at the Olympics because they have system to train the young and produce outstanding results.

On the other hand, India with the second highest population in the world could get only three medals.
We have no clue to channelise the energies of the young.

The photo is excellent. It shows the extent to which the youth can go to entertain and take risks.

Thanks for sharing!

Have a wonderful day!

FCB said...

Hi Mel,
Great timing on a financial seminar with all the economic upheaveal. Many fortunes will be lost over the coming months, but fortunes will be made as well by those who have, like the ant, harvested in summer for economic winters. I appreciate the old books for containing so much about economy and the wise use of money. Obviously the Lord did as well seeing He spoke so much about it.
Your example of a 20 year old who saves and ends up with 3.6 million seems like they will have a fortune; but, with the average rate of inflation, that will just barely cover their living expenses combined with Social Security.
A person 55 years old now needs, in the US, about 1 million saved to continue their same standard of living when they retire, including Social Security. As you age you have to put your money in safer investments which pay smaller dividends and interest. So if you have a millon and earn 5% you will make 50,000. per year, add say 40 thousand to that from Social Security for two, and you will earn about eighty to ninety grand a year. So in 7 years, with inflation at 4% or possibly more, you will have a nice income, if not in debt, but by no means rich.

So, how to rememdy the problem you ran into with both young and old that you spoke to; train your children as early as you can, to save. Give them an allowance, regardless of the amount, and have them learn the habit of saving as well as giving, by the time they are twenty they will have about a twenty thousand dollar headstart, and will find joy in saving not sacrifice.
Trust me, my children wish I had practised these principles when they were young....sorry guys.

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
Good to see your picture pop up, I was afraid you may have had complications with your illness.
When you first mentioned it I thought it was just a one day illness, but as I read your comments I realized it was far more severe. I hope all is well with you now.

Thanks for your comments, and I'm glad you like the picture, I thought it really captured the hot blooded spirit of youth.
Warmest regards,