Saturday, 22 September 2018

QotD: “Hold fast to the spirit of youth: 'To hold an unchanging youth is to reach, at the end, the vision with which one started'.”


"A widespread cultural attitude treats idealism as a youthful phase and cynicism as a sign of maturity. Adolescents and teenagers might get away with hero-worship and a keen desire for clear answers to life’s big questions. But mature adults are expected to accept that the real world won’t accommodate such foolish dreams — that their heroes have serious flaws, that certainty is an illusion, and that moral compromise is the key to getting along in a world full of corruption and cowardice... 
    "[Ayn] Rand identified the 'spirit of youth' as 'a sense of enormous expectation, the sense that one’s life is important, that great achievements are within one’s capacity, and that great things lie ahead.' Most people can recall such feelings, but relatively few retain them through adulthood or identify their source in conceptual terms... 
    "Rand’s concept of the spirit of youth, Bayer observes, has three hallmarks: idealism, independence, and goodwill ... For Rand, the essence of idealism is 'taking ideas seriously.” This means a conviction that ideas matter, which means that 'knowledge matters, that truth matters, that one’s mind matters ... [that] youthful ideals do not need to be abandoned, that man’s youthful state is his natural and proper state... 
    “To hold an unchanging youth is to reach, at the end, the vision with which one started.” 
        ~ Ben Bayer, from his post 'Hold Fast to the Spirit of Youth'
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