“Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call ‘humble’ nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.
If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realise that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.”
— C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book 3, Chapter 8, “The Great Sin,” Kindle location 1665
I think with the grown-ups what I’m trying to do is encourage a full shame-ectomy. Embarrassment is a learned disease that begins to manifest itself in early adolescence. By adulthood, it can have ossified your entire spirit. A saving grace of having kids is that for the first time—in maybe a very long time—there’s permission to be silly. I encourage that.
If you claim that being creative—by writing, drawing, or singing songs—is important, then you have to do those things. Otherwise, you’re lying and kids smell a lie. A lot of my work over the last couple years has been trying to create situations that allow the grown-ups in kids’ lives to be sillier by doodling, drawing, and demonstrating the joy in the creative process. If I’m doing a drawing demonstration, it’s for everyone, because drawing is a physicalized form of empathy—and who can’t use a bit more of that?
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, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs 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 sixty more than a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.
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 sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being's heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing child-like appetite of 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 are grown old, even at twenty, but as long as your aerials are up, to catch the waves of optimism, there is hope you may die young at eighty