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A century ago Samuel Ullman (1840-1924) wrote in his short article “Youth” 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.

I always think about my father when I read these words. My father is over 60 years old, but has a very “young” heart. He studied electrical engineering in Harbin, a beautiful northeastern city in P.R. China. He worked his whole life as a cable engineer. He designed machines to produce cables and was an ISO quality control specialist for the cable industry. But he has not only devoted himself to his profession. During his free time he pursues many different hobbies. He loves writing, painting, singing and playing musical instruments. He’s really good at everything he’s interested in. I think the reason is that he is always passionate about all of his hobbies and persists in learning and practicing them. My sister and I like to call my father “the young pioneer” because he’s always like a little boy, curious about everything and loves learning new things.  Some years ago when most people at his age didn’t even know how to use the internet, he had already set up an online blog and had around a thousand fans.

A couple of years ago when my father visited Yunnan, a southwestern area of China where many minorities live, he fell in love with a special instrument called Hulusi. The English name for Hulusi is cucurbit flute. It has more than 3000 years of history. He taught himself how to play it by watching free online learning videos and reading books. Within two years he already played it so well that he won the second prize at the cucurbit flute competition in my home city. Most of the other participants had studied the curcurbit flute full time for many years. He has performed at many events in both China and Australia. He also teaches a lot of kids to play the cucurbit flute.

I see my father as my role model and really wish that I can excel in my profession, while becoming a good portrait artist one day.

However, essentially I want to be like him and always keep a young heart.

Read the whole article: Youth

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