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Quotations about the Past

Guest Author - Danielle Hollister

  1. "At every crossroads on the path that leads to the future, tradition has placed 10,000 men to guard the past."
    -- Maurice Maeterlinck

  2. "To be able to look back upon one's past life with satisfaction is to live twice."
    -- Marcus Valerius Martial

  3. "What you've done becomes the judge of what you're going to do especially in other people's minds. When you're traveling, you are what you are. People don't have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road."
    -- William Least Heat Moon

  4. "Because men really respect only that which was founded of old and has developed slowly, he who wants to live on after his death must take care not only of his posterity but even more of his past."
    -- Friedrich Nietzsche

  5. "Man... cannot learn to forget, but hangs on the past: however far or fast he runs, that chain runs with him."
    -- Friedrich Nietzsche

  6. "Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."
    -- George Orwell

  7. "They spend their time looking forward to the past."
    -- John Osborne

  8. "If you're going to be able to look back on something and laugh about it, you might as well laugh about it now."
    -- Marie Osmond

  9. "The good of other times let people state; I think it lucky I was born so late."
    -- Ovid

  10. "Some are so very studious of learning what was done by the ancients that they know not how to live with the moderns."
    -- William Penn

  11. "We do NOT know the past in chronological sequence. It may be convenient to lay it out anesthetized on the table with dates pasted on here and there, but what we know we know by ripples and spirals eddying out from us and from our own time."
    -- Ezra Pound

  12. "The moments of the past do not remain still; they retain in our memory the motion which drew them towards the future, towards a future which has itself become the past, and draw us on in their train."
    -- Marcel Proust

  13. "There is nothing new, but what has become antiquated."
    -- French Proverb

  14. "Nothing is as new as something which as been long forgotten."
    -- German Proverb

  15. "Don't brood on the past, but don't forget it either."
    -- Thomas H. Raddal

  16. "Who so desireth to know what will be hereafter, let him think of what is past, for the world hath ever been in a circular revolution; whatsoever is now, was heretofore; and things past or present, are no other than such as shall be again: Redit orbis in orbem."
    -- Sir Walter Raleigh

  17. "The stories that you tell about your past shape your future."
    -- Eric Ransdell

  18. "While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future."
    -- Ronald Reagan

  19. "Every journey into the past is complicated by delusions, false memories, false namings of real events."
    -- Adrienne Rich

  20. "The past does not equal the future."
    -- Anthony Robbins

  21. "There may be no more pleasing picture in the world than that of a child peering into a book-- the past and the future entrancing each other."
    -- Roger Rosenblau

  22. "I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes, so live not in your yesterdays, no just for tomorrow, but in the here and now. Keep moving and forget the post mortems; and remember, no one can get the jump on the future."
    -- Carl Sandburg

  23. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
    -- George Santayana

  24. "Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost."
    -- Robert H. Schuller

  25. "Look back, and smile at perils past."
    -- Sir Walter Scott

  26. "What is past is prologue."
    -- William Shakespeare

  27. "Things without remedy, should be without regard; what is done, is done."
    -- William Shakespeare

  28. "We have seen better days."
    -- William Shakespeare

  29. "Fearfulness, contrary to all other vices, maketh a man think the better of another, the worse of himself."
    -- Sir Philip Sidney

  30. "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be."
    -- Simone Signoret

  31. "The past itself, as historical change continues to accelerate, has become the most surreal of subjects --making it possible... to see a new beauty in what is vanishing."
    -- Susan Sontag

  32. "Clinging to the past is the problem. Embracing change is the answer."
    -- Gloria Steinem

  33. "It is not the literal past that rules us, save, possibly, in a biological sense. It is images of the past. Each new historical era mirrors itself in the picture and active mythology of its past or of a past borrowed from other cultures. It tests its sense of identity, of regress or new achievement against that past."
    -- George Steiner

  34. "You must never regret what might have been. The past that did not happen is as hidden from us as the future we cannot see."
    -- Richard Martin Stern

  35. "The next day is never so good as the day before."
    -- Publilius Syrus

  36. "Posterity will pay everyone their due."
    -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus

  37. "The function of posterity is to look after itself."
    -- Dylan Thomas

  38. "The past is the only dead thing that smells sweet."
    -- Edward Thomas

  39. "Some of the best lessons we ever learn are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future."
    -- Dale Turner

  40. "I find that the further I go back, the better things were, whether they happened or not."
    --

  41. "Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future."
    -- Unknown

  42. "May the best of your past be the worst of your future."
    -- Unknown

  43. "The rewards in life go to those who are willing to give up the past."
    -- Unknown

  44. "It is sadder to find the past again and find it inadequate to the present than it is to have it elude you and remain forever a harmonious conception of memory."
    -- Unknown

  45. "It's very expressive of myself. I just lump everything in a great heap which I have labeled ''the past,'' and, having thus emptied this deep reservoir that was once myself, I am ready to continue."
    -- Unknown

  46. "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
    -- Unknown

  47. "The beauty of the past is that it is the past. The beauty of the now is to know it. The beauty of the future is to see where one is going."
    -- Unknown

  48. "If you must cry over spilled milk then please try to condense it."
    -- Unknown

  49. "A lot of people go through life like they are rowing a boat. They look at where they have been (the PAST) rather than where they are going (the FUTURE)."
    -- Unknown

  50. "If you look back too much, you will soon be headed that way."
    -- Unknown

  51. "Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future."
    -- Denis Waitley

  52. "The past is only the present become invisible and mute; and because it is invisible and mute, its memorized glances and its murmurs are infinitely precious. We are tomorrow's past."
    -- Mary Webb

  53. "The past is at least secure."
    -- Daniel Webster

  54. "The destruction of the past is perhaps the greatest of all crimes."
    -- Simone Weil

  55. "The people who get into trouble in our company are those who carry around the anchor of the past."
    -- John Welch

  56. "The Past -- the dark unfathomed retrospect! The teeming gulf --the sleepers and the shadows! The past! the infinite greatness of the past! For what is the present after all but a growth out of the past?"
    -- Walt Whitman

  57. "One's past is what one is. It is the only way by which people should be judged."
    -- Oscar Wilde

  58. "Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift."
    -- Oprah Winfrey

  59. "Those who do remember it will find new ways to screw it up."
    -- Charles Wolfe

  60. "That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind."
    -- William Wordsworth

  61. "It's linkage I'm talking about, and harmonies and structures, And all the various things that lock our wrists to the past."
    -- Charles Wright

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Content copyright © 2013 by Danielle Hollister. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Danielle Hollister. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Jon Snyder for details.

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