When life is young, it is bright, easy and gay. The very atmosphere is full of enthusiasm and energy, and youth is crowded with events that shape man’s whole life thereafter. Youth is buoyant and hopeful, cheerful and venturesome, confident and courageous, ambitious and enterprising. Youth is fraught with unlimited potentiality to accomplish great and wonderful things. The lure of life’s adventure seems a glowing romance and a sweet, long poem to youthful life. Youth, in its vision, thinks it can grasp the rainbow. Life is full of sport in the boisterous gaiety of youth. The desire for pleasure is strongest in youth. Festive youth yearns for the full enjoyment of life and in its misguided moments throws itself headlong in the whirling dissipations and wastes itself by riotous indulgence of vice and vulgarity.
Man thinks faded youth as life’s paradise lost, and grudges not giving a heavy price if he can buy and regain it. Growing age broods over passing youth and longs to live youthful days again. In vain does withering youth labour to prolong its beauty by appliances of art, by padding and painting, trappings and trimmings. Youth, none the less, ages and fades. Youth thinks the spring of its life will not end and dreams not of its decay and death. Exuberant life swarms in the spring and blooms in a forest of riotous foliage, yet the autumn turns out to be the deathbed of the spring and winter its grave. So does the autumn of life steal slowly with silent steps and heralds the end of its spring. Though nature rejoices in the yearly return of the spring, man knows but one spring and youth, once lost, can never be regained.
Strengthen me, Ahura Mazda, to resist the temptation to give in to the dissipation of youth. Help me so to live my youth that the memory of an ill-spent youth may not cloud my mind, when I am on the down-hill road and my life is ebbing and nearing its end. Help me, instead to live in so wise that the recollection of my virtuous youth may sweeten my old age and fill the closing period of my life with happiness.