It is often said that youth lacks wisdom while age is found wanting in courage. A young man, bereft of experience, tends to be rash, daring and thoughtless in his conduct, while an old man is prudent and careful of every step he takes. The adventurous and inexperienced youth is usually ridiculed and criticized by thoughtful, cautious grey-haired people. On the other hand, young men do not fail to have a dig at the old people by saying that their caution and much-prized wisdom and experience is nothing but a cloak to conceal their failing physical and mental strength. Thus, crabbed age and youth do not go together. They are, rather antagonistic to each other. Undoutedly there is a difference between the outlook of the young and the aged. The child growing into a boy and then maturing as a youth finds himself confronting at every stage a world which arouses his inquisitiveness in a thousand ways. The insatiable desire to know and explore the world is so overpowering that consideration of possible risks involved in it is forced into the background. It is little wonder that he chafes against and ignores the ldquodorsquos and donrsquots rsquorsquo of the elders and follows undauntedly the path of satisfying his lust for breaking fresh ground. A young man is normally gifted with a certain measure of self-confidence and independent thinking. He, therefore , refuses to accept things and views as they are. His reason, his analytical perspective and intellectualism, prevents him from subscribing blindly to conventional dogmas and beliefs. It was this love of independent thinking which made Shelley to write a treatise on Atheism and invited expulsion from the University. The same passion for truth provoked Martin Luther to challenge Papal authority. Every youth worth the name has a certain element of originality and self-consciousness. He would not normally take the line set-up by his elders in a slavish manner. People of the old generation are prone to shake their heads in fierce disapproval of the ways of the youth. Their is a counsel of prudence, restraint, caution and compromise. This counsel, however, generally falls on deaf ears. The young men, pulsating with life, refuse to shape their activities according to the pattern laid down by their elders. The rebellious attitude of the youth is not altogether without justification. No daring and glorious achievements in life would be possible if youth become as reserved and calculating as old people. The world would be bereft of heroism, chivalry and self sacrifice if youth possess as much wisdom, inhibition and control as the old folks have. To say that young men are injudicious and thoughtless would amount to distortion of truth. They have their wisdom, their own point of view, which may not appeal to people advanced in years. Though wisdom and experience are relative terms, the old men cannot claim to have a monopoly on it. What is wise for an old men may really appear to be foolish to a young man and vice-versa. Besides, what an old man denounces in old age as undesirable might be just what he did when he was young. There are certain things action which one would do perform only in youth. To fight for honour, to pursue knowledge like a shining star, to fall in love and sigh like a furnace, to rush and storm a fort, to explore the world like Columbus through a dangerous voyage are things dear to a youthful heart. The same young man would perhaps turn his back upon these activities once the shades of old age begin to close upon him. If one were to abide by the instructions of old age, life would indeed be a dismal affair. ldquo It sounds really strange that a person should band all his energies like a miser till old age deprives him of the capacity to utilize them.rdquo Young men are denounced for sowing their wild oats but a youth who does not sow these oats, lacks the true fire and zeal of his age. There is much to be said on behalf of personal experience, first-hand knowledge, and it is this which ads young men to rush in where angels fear to tread. Life cannot be lived in a glass case and character cannot be developed to its fullest without passing through the fire of pleasant as well as unpleasant experiences. Virtue is not abstention from temptation, but the power of facing and overcoming it. If a youth exposes himself to temptations and dangers, he also acquires the virtue of conquering them. A cloistered virtue is an artificial, feeble ornament, which is likely to be shattered to bits when confronted with harsh reality. If youth is not always wise, age too is not necessarily powerless. Youth invariably passes through into old age, though it is not always possible to draw a line of demarcation and point out precisely when youth ends and old age begins. In some case perhaps, a man never enjoys the true spirit of youth, while in others, the demands of age are absent inspite of advancing years. At the end one can say youth and old age are really a matter of onersquos attitude towards life. It is an exciting proposition to imagine on the one hand a world full of exclusively young people and on the other of old men only. In either case, life would lose its balance and grow deplorably lop-sided. It would indeed be a wonderful thing if we would find the spirit of youthful adventure always alive in those advanced in age. With their wisdom earned and reaped from many harvests of life they would enrich the youth. The youth could supply the physical force to sustain the advice of the elder citizens. There is no inherent antagonism between the two. Age is neither wholly crabbed nor youth exclusively rash.