Once upon a time, a child was ready to be born. So he asked God, "How am I going to live there? I am so small and helpless."
God answered, "Among many angels, I chose one for you. She will be waiting for you and will take care of you."
The child asked, "Here I am in Heaven, I don't do anything else but sing and smile. That's enough for me to be happy."
God answered, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you every day. You will feel your angel's love and be happy."
The child asked, "How will I learn? I don't know the language that human beings speak."
God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweetest words you will ever hear. With much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to live."
The child asked, "What am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"
God smiled, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."
The child asked, "Who will protect me?"
God said, "Your angel will protect you even if it means risking her own life."
At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from the earth could already be heard, and the child in a hurry asked softly, "Oh God, if I am about to leave now, please tell me my angel's name."
"Your angel's name is of no importance. You will simply call your angel 'Mom'. "
Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep spring of life.
Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of 60 more than a boy of 20. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideas.
Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.
Whether 60 or 16, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing childlike appetite for what’s next and the joy of the game of living. In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station: so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power from men and from the Infinite, so long are you young.
When the aerials are down, and your spirit is covered with snows of cynicism and the ice of pessimism, then you’ve grown old, even at 20. But as long as your aerials are up, to catch waves of optimism, there is hope you may die young at 80.
A man may usually be known by the books he reads as well as by the company he keeps; for there is a companionship of books as well as of men; and one should always live in the best company, whether it be of books or of men.
A good book may be among the best of friends. It is the same today that it always was, and it will never change. It is the most patient and cheerful of companions. It does not turn its back upon us in times of adversity or distress. It always receives us with the same kindness; amusing and instructing us in youth, and comforting and consoling us in age.
Men often discover their affinity to each other by the mutual love they have for a book just as two persons sometimes discover a friend by the admiration which both entertain for a third. There is an old proverb, 'Love me, love my dog." But there is more wisdom in this:" Love me, love my book." The book is a truer and higher bond of union. Men can think, feel, and sympathize with each other through their favorite author. They live in him together, and he in them.
A good book is often the best urn1 of a life enshrining the best that life could think out; for the world of a man's life is, for the most part, but the world of his thoughts. Thus the best books are treasuries of good words, the golden thoughts, which, remembered and cherished, become our constant companions and comforters.
Books possess an essence of immortality. They are by far the most lasting products of human effort. Temples and statues decay, but books survive. Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh today as when they first passed through their author’s minds, ages ago. What was then said and thought still speaks to us as vividly9 as ever from the printed page. The only effect of time have been to sift10 out the bad products; for nothing in literature can long survive e but what is really good.
Books introduce us into the best society; they bring us into the presence of the greatest minds that have ever lived. We hear what they said and did; we see the as if they were really alive; we sympathize with them, enjoy with them, grieve with them; their experience becomes ours, and we feel as if we were in a measure actors with them in the scenes which they describe.
The great and good do not die, even in this world. Embalmed11 in books, their spirits walk abroad. The book is a living voice. It is an intellect to which on still listens.