… everyone young going down the long slide To happiness, endlessly.

What did Philip Larkin mean by:

… everyone young going down the long slide To happiness, endlessly.


“Everyone young going down the long slide to happiness, endlessly” is a poetic expression that captures the essence of youth and the pursuit of happiness. The “long slide” is a metaphor for the journey of life, which, in the perspective of the young, appears endless and filled with the potential for joy. This quote suggests that youth is a time of optimism, when the future seems limitless and full of promise, and happiness feels like an inevitable destination.

The slide analogy also implies a sense of ease and effortlessness. Just as one simply sits and lets gravity do the work on a slide, youth is often characterized by a sense of invincibility and the belief that happiness will come naturally, without struggle.

In the context of today’s world, this quote could be interpreted as a reminder of the importance of maintaining a positive outlook and a youthful spirit, regardless of one’s age or circumstances. In an era where challenges such as economic instability, climate change, and social inequality can lead to cynicism and despair, the idea of “going down the long slide to happiness, endlessly” serves as an antidote, encouraging us to stay hopeful and keep striving for happiness.

In terms of personal development, this quote might inspire individuals to embrace the journey of life with enthusiasm and optimism, rather than focusing solely on the destination. It suggests that happiness is not a static state to be achieved, but a dynamic process that unfolds throughout our lives. It also emphasizes the importance of adopting a youthful mindset, characterized by curiosity, openness, and resilience, which can help us navigate life’s ups and downs and ultimately lead to a fulfilling and joyful life.

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