Past

It is not I that belong to the past, but the past that belongs to me.

Youth is a cause of hope for three reasons... And these three reasons may be gathered from the three conditions of the good which is the object of hope - namely, that it is future, arduous and possible... For youth has much of the future before it, and little of the past; and therefore since memory is of the past, and hope of the future, it has little to remember and lives very much in hope. Again, youths, on account of the heat of their nature, are full of spirit, so that their heart expands, and it is owing to the heart being expanded that one tends to that which is arduous; therefore youths are spirited and hopeful. Likewise they who have not suffered defeat, nor had experience of obstacles to their efforts, are prone to count a thing possible to them. Therefore youths, through inexperience of obstacles and of their own shortcomings, easily count a thing possible, and consequently are of good hope.

Perhaps the most important lesson the world has learned in the past fifty years is that it is not true that "human nature is unchangeable."

Since God hath always an eternal and present state, His knowledge, surpassing time’s notions, remaineth in the simplicity of His presence and, comprehending the infinite of what is past and to come, considereth all things as though they were in the act of being accomplished.

In the past few decades American institutions have struggled with the temptations of politics. Professions and academic disciplines that once possessed a life and structure of their own have steadily succumbed, in some cases almost entirely, to the belief that nothing matters beyond politically desirable results, however achieved.

We can pay our debt to the past by putting the future in debt to ourselves.

He who seeks repentance for the past, should woo the angel virtue for the future.

History is the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instructor of the present, and monitor to the future.

It is children only who enjoy the present; their elders either live on the memory of the past or the hope of the future.

The golden age is not in the past, but in the future: not in the origin of human experience, but in its consummate flower: not opening in Eden, but out from Gethsemane.

We live in the present, we dream of the future, but we learn eternal truths from the past.

By reading a man does, as it we, antedate his life, and make himself contemporary with past ages.

The very nearest approach to domestic happiness on earth is in the cultivation on both sides of absolute unselfishness. Never both be angry at once. Never talk at one another, either alone or in company. Never speak loud to one another unless the house is on fire. Let each; one strive to yield oftenest to the wishes of the other. Let self-denial be the daily aim and practice of each. Never find fault unless it is perfectly certain that a fault has been committed, and always speak lovingly. Never taunt with a past mistake. Neglect the whole world besides rather than one another. Never allow a request to be repeated. Never make a remark at the expense of each other, it is a meanness. Never part for a day without loving words to think of during absence. Never meet without a loving welcome. Never let the sun go down upon any anger or grievance. Never let any fault you have committed go by until you have frankly confessed it and asked forgiveness. Never forget the happy hours of early love. Never sigh over what might have been, but make the best of what is. Never forget that marriage is ordained of God, and that His blessing alone can make it what it should ever be. Never be contented till you know you are both walking in the narrow way. Never let your hopes stop short of the eternal home.

Those who believe in the theory of rebirth would say that we are here because of our past actions. It can also be said that the essence of life is the search for happiness and the fulfillment of one’s desires. All living beings strive to sustain their lives so that they might achieve happiness. As to why the self, wishing for happiness, came into being, Buddhism answers: This self has existed from beginningless time. It has no end but for it to ultimately achieve full enlightenment.

The world is full of people whose notion of a satisfactory future is, in fact, a return to the idealized past.

The past is only memories; the future is but illusory hopes; focus on the present; for that is where your life really is; and it consists only of tests.

Right actions for the future are the best explanations or apologies for wrong ones in the past; the best evidence of regret for them that we can offer, or the world receive.

Some of the best lessons we ever learn we learn from our mistakes and failures. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future.

The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.

Regrets over the past should chasten the future.