Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Future

"Foremost among the barriers to equality is the system which ignores the mother’s service to Society in making a home and rearing children. The mother is still the uncharted servant of the future, who receives from her husband, at his discretion, a share in his wages." - Katharine Anthony, fully Katharine Susan Anthony

"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." -

"Dissimulation in youth is the forerunner of perfidy in old age; its first appearance is the fatal omen of growing depravity and future shame. It degrades parts and learning obscures the luster of every accomplishment and sinks us into contempt. The path of falsehood is a perplexing maze. After the first departure from sincerity, it is not in our power to stop; one artifice unavoidably leads on to another, till, as the intricacy of the labyrinth increases, we are left entangled in our snare." - Hugh Blair

"It is our duty to give meaning to the life of future generations by sharing our knowledge and experience; by teaching an appreciation of work well done and a respect for nature, the source of all life; by encouraging the young to venture off the beaten path and avoid complacency by challenging their emotions." - Paul Bocuse

"We can pay our debt to the past by putting the future in debt to ourselves." - John Buchan, Baron Tweedsmuir

"The simple truth is, that there has lived on the earth, “appearing at intervals,” for thousands of years among ordinary men, the first faint beginnings of another race; walking the earth and breathing the air with us, but at the same time walking another earth and breathing another air of which we know little or nothing, but which is, all the same, our spiritual life, as its absence would be our spiritual death. This new race is in act of being born from us, and in the near future it will occupy and possess the earth." - Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

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

"Life is short - while we speak it flies; enjoy, then, the present, and forget the future; such is the moral of ancient poetry, a graceful and a wise moral - indulged beneath a southern sky, and all deserving the phrase applied to it, “The philosophy of the garden.”" -

"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." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"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." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"We live in the present, we dream of the future, but we learn eternal truths from the past." - Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, born Soong Mei-ling or May-ling

"With endless patience you shall carry out your duty, and your firmness shall be tempered with tenderness for your people. Neither anger nor fury shall lodge in your mind, and all your words and actions shall be marked with calm deliberation. In all your deliberations in the Council, in your efforts at lawmaking, in all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not away the warnings of any others, if they should chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law, which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the earth - the unborn of the future Nation." - Constitution of the Five Nations NULL

"To make a man happy, fill his hands with work, his heart with affection, his mind with purpose, his memory with useful knowledge, his future with hope, and his stomach with food. The devil never enters a man except one of these rooms be vacant." - Frederick Evan Crane

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

"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." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"The future belongs to those who are virile, to whom it is a pleasure to live, to create, to whet their intelligence on that of the others." - Henri Deterding, fully Henri Wilhelm August Deterding

"To be being fully alive, the future is not ominous but a promise; it surrounds the present like a halo." - John Dewey

"We always live at the time we live and not at some other time, and only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared for doing the same thing in the future. This is the only preparation which in the long run amounts to anything." - John Dewey

"How many a knot of mystery and misunderstanding would be untied by one word spoken in simple and confiding truth of heart! How many a solitary place would be made glad if love were there, and how many a dark dwelling would be filled with light!" - Orville Dewey

"What I am thinking and doing day by day is resistlessly shaping my future - a future in which there is no expiation except through my own better conduct. No one can save me. No one can live my life for me. If I am wise I shall begin today to build my own truer and better world from within." - Horatio W. Dresser

"We may make our future by the best use of the present. There is no moment like the present; not only so, but, moreover, there is no moment at all, that is; no instant force and energy, but in the present. The man who will not execute his resolutions when they are fresh upon him can have no hope from them afterwards." - Maria Edgeworth

"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." - Tyron Edwards

"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." - Tyron Edwards

"Regrets over the past should chasten the future." -

"Our best hope for the future is that the intellect - the scientific spirit, reason - should in time establish a dictatorship over the human mind. The very nature of reason is a guarantee that it would not fail to concede to human emotions, and to all that is determined by them, the position to which they are entitled. But the common pressure exercised by such a domination of reason would prove to be the strongest unifying force among men, and would prepare the way for further unifications. Whatever, like the ban laid upon thought by religion, opposes such a development is a danger for the future of mankind." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

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

"Nothing is more important to our future than building community." - E. Gordon Gee

"Pride is a deeply rooted ailment of the soul. The penalty is misery; the remedy lies in the sincere, life-long cultivation of humility, which means self-evaluation and a proper perspective toward past, present and future." - Robert Gordis

"Every man is his own ancestor, and every man his own heir. He devises his own future, and he inherits his own past." - Frederick Henry Hedge

"Custom is the great guide of human life. It is that principle alone which renders our experience useful to us, and makes us expect, for the future, a similar train of events with those which have appeared I the past. Without the influence of custom, we should be entirely ignorant of every matter of fact beyond what is immediately present to the memory and senses. We should never know how to adjust means to ends, or to employ our natural powers in the production of any effect. There would be an end at once of all action, as well as of the chief part of speculation." - David Hume

"Every man is rich or poor, according to the proportion between his desires and enjoyments. Of riches as of everything else, the hope is more than the enjoyment. While we consider them as the means to be used at some future time for the attainment of felicity, ardor after them secures us from weariness of ourselves; but no sooner do we sit down to enjoy our acquisitions than we find them insufficient to fill up the vacuities of life." -

"It is common to overlook what is near by keeping the eye fixed on something remote. In the same manner present opportunities are neglected and attainable good is slighted by minds busied in extensive ranges, and intent upon future advantages. Life, however short, is made shorter by waste of time." -

"There is little peace or comfort in life if we are always anxious as to future events. He that worries himself with the dread of possible contingencies will never be at rest." -

"The future is not in the hands of fate but in ours." - Jean Jules Jusserand, fully Jean Adrien Antoine Jules Jusserand

"When at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment of each one of us - recording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state - our success or failure, in whatever office we may hold, will be measured by the answers to four questions - were we truly men of courage... were we truly men of judgment... were we truly men of integrity... were we truly men of dedication?" - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"Death is merely moving from one home to another. The wise man will spend his main efforts in trying to make his future home the more beautiful one." -

"Everything that looks to the future elevates human nature; for never is life so low or so little as when occupied with the present." - Walter Savage Landor

"The whole future is doubtless determined; but since we know not what it is, nor what is foreseen or resolved, we must do our duty, according to the reason that God has given us and according to the rules that he has prescribed for us; and thereafter we must have a quiet mind, and leave to God himself the care for the outcome. For he will never fail to do that which shall be the best, not only in general but also in particular, for those who have true confidence in him, that is, a confidence composed of true piety, a lively faith and fervent charity, by virtue of which we will, as far as in us lies, neglect nothing appertaining to our duty and his service." -

"It is a curious paradox that aversion of future harm seems more important than the promise of future benefit. That was not always true. Those who are unwilling to invent in the future haven’t earned one." - Harold Lewis, fully Harold "Hal" Warren Lewis

"Maturity is achieved when a person accepts life as full of tension; when he does not torment himself with childish guilt feelings, but avoids tragic adult sins; when he postpones immediate pleasures for the sake of long-term values... Our generation must be inspired to search for that maturity which will manifest itself in the qualities of tenacity, dependability, co-operativeness and the inner drive to work and sacrifice for a nobler future of mankind." - Joshua L. Liebman, fully Joshua Loth Liebman

"Moaning over what cannot be helped is a confession of futility and fear, of emotional stagnation - in fact, of selfishness and cowardice. The best way to "snap out of it" is to stop thinking about yourself, and start thinking about other people. You can lighten your own load by doing something for someone else. By the simple device of doing an outward, unselfish act today, you can make the past recede. The present and future will again take on their true challenge and perspective." - Frederick Loomis, fully Sir Frederick Oscar Warren Loomis

"Depression is the inability to construct a future." -

"Fear is like fire: If controlled it will help you; if uncontrolled, it will rise up and destroy you. Men's actions depend a great deal upon fear. We do things either because we enjoy doing them or because we are afraid not to do them. This sort of fear has not relation to physical or moral courage. It is inspired by the knowledge that we are not adequately prepared to face the future and the events it may bring - poverty perhaps, or injury, or death." - John F. Milburn

"We are never [present with] at home, we are always beyond [ourselves]. Fear, desire, hope, project us toward the future and steal from us the feeling and consideration of what is, to busy us with what will be, even when we shall no longer be." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"If you face squarely into the sunlight, and gaze squarely toward the future, you will find that both your shadow and your failures have fallen behind you." - Vitali Negri

"The time-man in us does not know now. He is always preparing something in the future, or busy with what happened in the past... All decisions that belong to the life in time, to success, to business, comfort, are about ‘tomorrow’. All decisions about the right thing to do, about how to act, are about tomorrow. It is only what is done in now that counts, and this is a decision always about oneself and with oneself, even though its effect may touch other people’s lives ‘tomorrow’. Now is spiritual... Spiritual values have nothing to do with time." - Maurice Nicoll

"We are not here to predict the future but to change it for the good." - Oliver North, fully Lt. Colonel Oliver Laurence North

"By analyzing your worries, you will become aware that all worry is useless. Worries fall into two categories: worrying about the past and worrying about the future. As regards to the past, worry will not change the situation. You are compounding your suffering or loss by your present worrying. If you are worrying about something that might happen in the future, do what you can to protect yourself and prevent a loss. If there is nothing you can do, all your worrying will make no difference. So why waste your present moments worrying?" - Rabbi Eliezer ben Isaac Papo, aka "ha-Kosesh" or "The Saint"

"The Perfect Way knows no difficulties, except that it refuses to make preferences. Only when freed from hate and love does it reveal itself fully and without disguise. A tenth of an inch’s difference, and heaven and earth are set apart. If you wish to see it before your own eyes have no fixed thoughts either for or against it. To set up what you like against what you dislike - this is the disease of the mind. When the deep meaning of the Way is not understood. Peace of mind is disturbed to no purpose... Pursue not the outer entanglements, dwell not in the inner void; be serene in the oneness of things, and dualism vanishes of itself... Transformations going on in the empty world that confronts us appear to be real because of Ignorance. Do not strive to seek after the True, only cease to cherish opinions... One in all, All in One - if only this is realized, no more worry about not being perfect. When the mind and each believing mind and Mind, this is where words fail, for it is not of the past, present or future." - Jianzhi Sengcan, Third Patriarch of Zen, Third Patriarch of Ch'an