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The Past Quotes and Quotations


Vanity plays lurid tricks with our memory.
Nostalgia is a seductive liar.
Was it always my nature to take a bad time and block out the good times, until any success became an accident and failure seemed the only truth?
Nostalgia: A device that removes the ruts and potholes from memory lane.
What was hard to bear is sweet to remember.
The heart's memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good; and thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burdens of the past.
Some folks never exaggerate-they just remember big.
A man's memory may almost become the art of continually varying and misrepresenting his past, according to his interest in the present.
Praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear.
God gave us memory that we might have roses in December.
There has never been an age that did not applaud the past and lament the present.
Only sick music makes money today.
Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.
Posterity will say as usual: "In the past things were better, the present is worse than the past."
Our ignorance of history makes us libel to our own times. People have always been like this.
Oh, this age! How tasteless and ill-bred it is!
This strange disease of modern life, with its sick hurry, its divided aims.
The illusion that times that were are better than those that are has probably pervaded all ages.
Oh, what times! Oh, what standards!
Probably no one alive hasn't at one time or another brooded over the possibility of going back to an earlier, ideal age in his existence and living a different kind of life.
The Golden Age was never the present Age.
The worst time is always the present.
The "good old times"-all times, when old, are good.
"The good old days." The only good days are ahead.
There are two kinds of stones, as everyone knows, one which rolls.
Recognizing what we have done in the past is a recognition of ourselves. By conducting a dialogue with our past, we are searching how to go forward.
I know of no way of judging the future but by the past.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it more fit for its prime function of looking forward.
The past is never dead-it is not even past.
The past is the best way to suppose what may come.
We can never go back again, that much is certain. The past is still too close to us. The things we have tried to forget and put behind us would stir again, and that sense of fear, of furtive unrest... might in some manner unforeseen become a living companion, as it had before.
Past: Our cradle, not our prison, and there is danger as well as appeal in its glamour. The past is for inspiration, not imitation; for continuation, not repetition.
Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.
When I want to understand what is happening today or try to decide what will happen tomorrow, I look back.
We live in the present, we dream of the future, but we learn eternal truths from the past.
The past is the best prophet of the future.
Truth, however bitter, can be accepted, and woven into a design for living.
The past will not tell us what we ought to do, but... what we ought to avoid.
Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday.
Judgement comes from experience, and great judgement comes from bad experience.
The only use of a knowledge of the past is to equip us for the present.
When the past has taught us that we have more within us than we have ever used, our prayer is a cry to the divine to come to us and fill us with its power.
Don't ruin the present with the ruined past.
Ah tell me not that memory Sheds gladness o'er the past; What is recalled by faded flowers Save that they did not last?
Here lies my past, Goodbye I have kissed it; Thank you kids, I wouldn't have missed it.
Forget the past and live the present hour.
Living in the past is a dull and lonely business; looking back strains the neck muscles, causes you to bump into people not going your way.
I demolish my bridges behind me ... then there is no choice but forward.
Looking repeatedly into the past, you do not necessarily become fascinated with your own life, but rather with the phenomenon of memory.
Let the past drift away with the water.
The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.
I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back.
Not the power to remember, but its very opposite, the power to forget, is a necessary condition for our existence.
You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters are continually flowing on.
Better by far you should forget and smile, than that you should remember and be sad.
The past should be culled like a box of fresh strawberries, rinsed of debris, sweetened judiciously and served in small portions, not very often.
May I forget what ought to be forgotten; and recall, unfailing, all that ought to be recalled, each kindly thing, forgetting what might sting.
Here's to the past. Thank God it's past!
One must be thrust out of a finished cycle in life, and that leap is the most difficult to make-to part with one's faith, one's love, when one would prefer to renew the faith and recreate the passion.
The biggest thing in today's sorrow is the memory of yesterday's joy.
It's but little good you'll go a-water-ing the last year's crop.
The worst thing you can do is to try to cling to something that's gone, or to recreate it.
Ne'er look for the birds of this year in the nests of the last.
Don't look back. Something may be gaining on you.
Anyone who limits her vision to memories of yesterday is already dead.
I like the dreams for the future better than the history of the past.
The first recipe for happiness is: Avoid too lengthy meditations on the past.
The past is a funeral gone by.
Never let yesterday use up today.
How the past perishes is how the future becomes.
The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.
In the life of the spirit there is no ending that is not a beginning.
The past is but the beginning of a beginning, and all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.
Anyone who limits her vision to memories of yesterday is already dead.
Nor deem the irrevocable Past As wholly wasted, wholly vain, If, rising on its wrecks, at last To something nobler we attain.
Youth is, after all, just a moment, but it is the moment, the spark that you always carry in your heart.
Nothing is predestined: The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.
No star is ever lost we once have seen, We always may be what we might have been.
What's past is prologue.
In my end is my beginning.
The good old days were never that good, believe me. The good new days are today, and better days are coming tomorrow. Our greatest songs are still unsung.
The past is never completely lost, khowever extensive the devastation. Your sorrows are the bricks and mortar of a magnificent temple. What you are today and what you will be tomorrow are because of what you have been.
Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.
There are two days about which nobody should ever worry, and these are yesterday and tomorrow.
We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.
When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past.
I'm not convinced that the world is in any worse shape than it ever was. It's just that in this age of almost instantaneous communication, we bear the weight of problems our forefathers only read about after they were solved.
Truth has no beginning.
The world's history is constant, like the laws of nature, and simple, like the souls of men.
These are the stories that never, never die, that are carried like seed into a new country, are told to you and me and make in us new and lasting strengths.
What one loves in childhood stays in the heart forever.
This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to do with it.
In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.
Our ignorance of history makes us libel our own times. People have always been like this.
The good old days are neither better nor worse than the ones we're living through right now.
Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.
Respect the past in the full measure of its deserts, but do not make the mistake of confusing it with the present, nor seek in it the ideals of the future.
It's a pleasure to share one's memories. Everything remembered is dear, endearing, touching, precious. At least the past is safe-though we didn't know it at the time. We know it now. Because it's in the past; because we have survived.
The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves, they find their own order ... the continuous thread of revelation.
The best compliment we can pay our past is to prophetically and bravely face today and tomorrow.
Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.
Fortunate are the people whose roots are deep.
As the dew to the blossom, the bud to the bee, As the scent to the rose, are those memories to me.
Heirlooms we don't have in our family. But stories we've got.
We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.
The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post.
The past in retrospect holds manifold disenchantments, failures and even tragedies; and yet the worse may be forgotten and the best held fast.
The road was new to me, as roads always are, going back.
No yesterdays are ever wasted for those who give themselves to today.
Yesterday I lived, today I suffer, tomorrow I die; but I still think fondly, today and tomorrow, of yesterday.
Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book shown to him by heart, and his friends can only read the title.
We are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.... We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget.
The past is a work of art, free of irrelevancies and loose ends.
The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.
The past with its pleasures, its rewards, its foolishness, its punishments, is there for each of us forever, and it should be.
The past is that which we possess fully and in whole.
Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are.
The past is the tomorrow that got away.
Our life is like some vast lake that is slowly filling with the stream of our years. As the waters creep surely upward the landmarks of the past are one by one submerged. But there shall always be memory to lift its head above the tide until the lake is overflowing.
Why should we grope among the dry bones of the past, or put the living generation into masquerade out of its faded wardrobe?
No past is dead for us, but only sleeping, love.
I look back on my life like a good day's work; it is done and I am satisfied with it.
Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been.
That sign of old age, extolling the past at the expense of the present.
The past is one evil less and one memory more.
Then is then. Now is now. We must grow to learn the difference.
The past not merely is not fugitive, it remains present.
The past which is so presumptuously brought forward as a precedent for the present was itself founded on some past that went before it.
"Old times" never come back and I suppose it's just as well. What comes back is a new morning every day in the year, and that's better.
We have inherited new difficulties because we have inherited more privileges.
People are always asking about the good old days. I say, why don't you say the good "now" days? Isn't "now" the only time you're living?
Life in the twentieth century undeniably has ... such richness, joy and adventure as were unknown to our ancestors except in their dreams.
Enjoy yourself. These are the "good old days" you're going to miss in the years ahead.
The past is our very being.
To disdain today is to prove that yesterday has been misunderstood.
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.


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