The concept of youth is extremely flexible and ambiguous. It can be applied to very different stages of life, whether it is childhood, adolescence or even adulthood if the man or woman feels young psychologically.
On the other hand, the idea of youth has been changing throughout history (currently speaking of young people of 30 years and in times past someone of that age was considered an adult).
The culture and circumstances of each town are determining factors in understanding young people. Thus, an 18-year-old boy in an underdeveloped country has nothing to do with another of the same age who lives in a luxurious neighborhood in a prosperous country.
Principles, attitudes and values associated with the idea of youth
When you think about the idea of youth, a series of ideas come to mind: vitality, rebellion, strength, inexperience, idealism or creativity . Thus, in a conflict zone the strength of a young person will allow him to defend himself better and in a first world social context that same strength can help him to practice a sport. Circumstances may change, but the principles associated with youth remain.
The young man is normally vital and strong because his body has energy. Some things in the world around him displease him and this leads him to maverick and rebel positions. Because of his age, he does not know much about life and, therefore, he is someone with a logical inexperience in many ways. Most young people have sometimes imagined that another world is possible. Youth and creativity make up a binomial as old as humanity itself.
Youth from the perspective of old age
When one reaches old age and thinks of youth, the human being cannot avoid certain comparisons. The old man may be in good health, but his energy is no longer the same as in days gone by. An octogenarian may be someone very intellectually gifted, but surely he no longer dreams of changing the world around him.
The old man is fundamentally someone with a past and the young man has, above all, the future ahead of him.
The fascination for stopping time
In Greek mythology Hebe was the divinity who personified youth and her power allowed her to recover the lost vitality of the elderly. The ancient Chinese, the Vedas in India or medieval alchemists tirelessly sought a substance to achieve a dream, eternal youth.
In the present we are still looking for the elixir that keeps us young and, somehow, we have found it with plastic surgery.