Years Wrinkle the Skin, But To Give Up Enthusiasm Wrinkles the Soul

Frank Crane? Douglas MacArthur? Watterson Lowe? Ann Landers? Jay B. Nash? L. F. Phelan? Samuel Ullman?

Dear Quote Investigator: According to a popular essay about youth the primary cause of aging is the desertion of one’s ideals. Also, years may wrinkle the skin, but losing enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. This essay has been attributed to U.S. General Douglas MacArthur and others. Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: The earliest match located by QI appeared in a Carlsbad, New Mexico newspaper in April 1914. Prominent columnist and minister Dr. Frank Crane penned the essay which began with the following paragraphs. Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind. It is not a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips, and supple knees; it is a tempter 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 fifty more than in a boy of twenty.

Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals.

Years wrinkle the skin; but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.

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Continue reading Years Wrinkle the Skin, But To Give Up Enthusiasm Wrinkles the Soul


  1. 1914 April 17, The Carlsbad Argus, Society: Youth by Dr. Frank Crane, Quote Page 8, Column 1, Carlsbad, New Mexico. (Newspapers_com)