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

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.

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

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 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.

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.

The great scientific discoveries of the past hundred years have been as child's play compared with the titanic forces that will be released when man applies himself to the understanding and mastery of his own nature.

The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots.

The past lives in us, not we in the past.

The memory of past favors, is like a rainbow, bright, vivid, and beautiful, but it soon fades away. The memory of injuries is engraved on the heart, and remains forever.

We accept the verdict of the past until the need for change cries out loudly enough to force upon us a choice between the comforts of further inertia and the irksomeness of action.

They [trees] hang on from a past no theory can recover. They will survive us. The air makes their music. Otherwise, they live in savage silence, though mites and nematodes and spiders teem at their roots, and though the energy with which they feed on the sun and are able to draw water sometimes hundred of feet up their trunks and into their twigs and branches calls for a deafening volume of sound.

The men of the past had convictions, while we moderns have only opinions.