'as young as your faith'

FRANCES Blaisdell Williams, who has taught the flute for 75 years (34 of them at Stanford University in California, where she is still teaching), modestly exemplifies the views on aging expressed by US Army General Douglas MacArthur on his 75th birthday in February 1955.

A framed copy of an excerpt from MacArthur's speech hangs on the wall of Frances's daughter's house in Atherton, California, where no member of the family can fail to notice it and be inspired.

The famous World War II general made it clear that, for him, youth was not entirely a time of life; it was a state of mind. "You are as young as your faith," he said, "as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair. In the central place of every heart, there is a recording chamber; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage, so long are you young" (TIME, February 7, 1955).

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witness to the presence of Love
March 5, 2007

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