I was talking to an old friend this evening who, like me, teaches at New York University. We were comparing notes about the incredible energy and enthusiasm among our students.
She was telling me how disheartening it is to see that people who are somewhat older don’t seem to have that energy and fire. It really does seem to be a trait of the young.
I told her that it was exactly this quality of younger people that makes me love teaching. But somehow that didn’t seem like a complete answer. Why, I wondered to myself, do younger people have this quality?
And then I had it. “When you are young,” I told my friend, “you understand that everything is new.” She agreed completely.
After we said goodnight, I kept thinking about our conversation. The challenge, I found myself thinking, is to maintain that understanding as one gets older — the ability to see that everything is new.