Minute Meditation on Youth and Aging from Pink Floyd and the Book of Ecclesiastes

The Cover to Pink Floyd, “Dark Side of the Moon”

“You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 11:9a, NIV). I read that text in my class; the students rejoiced at the sacred author’s words. I also went on to read to my students some of the lyrics from “Time,” a song by Pink Floyd, on the album The Dark Side of the Moon (1973). For instance, David Gilmour and Richard Wright write,

“You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you;
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.”
 
Then I went on to point out to the class that the sacred author also reminds his readers, as does the song “Time,” that “youth and vigor are fleeting” (Ecclesiastes 11:10b, BSB). In other words, from the moment a human being is conceived and born, he or she is constantly changing, in the process of becoming older. Once that process has begun, the only way out of it is death.
 
Every human being, then, is inexorably aging. Younger people should keep that in mind, because unless their lives are cut short by some kind of tragedy or illness, they, too, will become old. Therefore, human beings, in general, whether they are young or old – and, especially, before they die – want to be acknowledged as persons. Whether young or old, they also want to be respected or honored as human beings.
 
The song expresses the same meaning as the Latin saying, Termpus fugit, “Time flies.” It goes by quickly. Just when a person thinks the moment is here, that he or she can “seize” it, it “slips away,” becoming the past. Hence, writes Gilmour and Wright,
 
“The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.”
 
Then I went on to point out to the class that the sacred author also reminds his readers, as does the song “Time,” that “youth and vigor are fleeting” (Ecclesiastes 11:10b, BSB). In other words, from the moment a human being is conceived and born, he or she is constantly changing, in the process of becoming older. Once that process has begun, the only way out of it is death.
 
Every human being, then, is inexorably aging. Younger people should keep that in mind, because unless their lives are cut short by some kind of tragedy or illness, they, too, will become old. Therefore, human beings, in general, whether they are young or old – and, especially, before they die – want to be acknowledged as persons. Whether young or old, they also want to be respected or honored as human beings.
 
 
 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s