Past and Present Quotes

past-and-present-quotesHere’s a collection of past & present quotes that I had sitting around.

Hopefully you can put them to good use.  🙂

1. Praises for our past triumphs are as feathers to a dead bird. -Paul Eldridge

2. The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. -Lesley Hartley

3. The past is strapped to our backs. We do not have to see it; we can always feel it. -Mignon McLaughlin

4. Bring the past only if only you are going to build from it. -Domenico Cieri Estrada

5. We need not destroy the past. It is gone. -John Cage

6. I was so in the present moment the past was no longer part of me. -Laurel Hoodwrit

7. One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present. -Golda Meir

8. The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it. -Wendell Berry

9. The one charm of the past is that it is the past. -Oscar Wilde

10. Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart and his friends can only read the title. -Virginia Woolf

11. Don’t let the past steal your present. -Cherralea Morgen

12. No man is rich enough to buy back his past. -Oscar Wilde

13. I have memories-but only a fool stores his past in the future. -David Gerrold

14. There is no distance on this earth as far away as yesterday. -Robert Nathan

15. The living moment is everything. -D.H. Lawrence

16. Nothing ever gets anywhere. The earth keeps turning round and gets nowhere. The moment is only thing that counts. -Jean Cocteau

17. Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee. -Montaigne

18. Eternity is not something that begins when you are dead. It is going on all the time. -Charlotte Perkins

19. Forever is composed of nows. -Emily Dickinson

20. Waste not fresh tears over old griefs. -Euripides

21. I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes. -Carl Sandburg

22. The past is a good place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. -Anonymous

23. Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today. -Indian Proverb

24. People are always asking about the good old days. I say, why don’t you say the good now days? -Robert Young

25. No yesterdays are ever wasted for those who give themselves to today. -Brendan Francis

26. I need neither future nor past, but to learn to take today not too fast. -Jeb Dickerson

27. The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post. -L. Thomas Holdcroft

28. The past is never there when you try to go back. It exists, but only in memory. To pretend otherwise is to invite a mess. -Chris Cobbs

29. If you are still talking about what you did yesterday, you haven’t done much today. -Anonymous

30. Nothing is worth more than this day. -Goethe

31. The future is always beginning now. -Mark Strand

32. We steal if we touch tomorrow. It is God’s. -Henry Ward Beecher

33. Pile up too many tomorrows and you’ll find that you’ve collected nothing but a bunch of empty yesterdays. -The Music Man

34. In today already walks tomorrow. -Friedrich von Schiller

35. The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness. -Abraham Maslow

36. It’s not what if, it’s what now. -Anonymous

37. It is only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day-to-day basis. -Margaret Bonnano

38. Seize from every moment its unique novelty, and do not prepare your joys. -Andre Gide

39. Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do. -Jean de la Bruyere

40. If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is. -Anonymous

41. I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is. -Alan Watts

42. Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness. -James Thurber

43. The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time. -Abraham Lincoln

44. If you wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. If you don’t wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. -Senegalese Proverb

45. We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow. -Fulton Oursler

46. Opportunities fly by while we sit regretting the chances we have lost, and the happiness that comes to us we heed not, because of the happiness that is gone. -Jerome K. Jerome

47. Living the past is a dull and lonely business; looking back strains the neck muscles, causing you to bump into people not going your way. -Edna Ferber

48. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. -George Santayana (1863-1952)

49. The past does not equal the future. -Anthony Robbins

50. Having harvested all the knowledge and wisdom we can from our mistakes and failures, we should put them behind us and go ahead. -Edith Johnson

51. To design the future effectively, you must first let go of your past. -Charles J. Givens

52. We are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4am of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. -Joan Didion

53. Mr. Meant-to has a friend, his name is Didn’t-Do. Have you met them? They live together in a house called Never-Win. And I am told that it is haunted by the Ghost of Might-have-Been. -Marva Collins

54. If you are carrying strong feelings about something that happened in your past, they may hinder your ability to live in the present. -Les Brown

55. Yesterday is a canceled check: Forget it. Tomorrow is a promissory note: Don’t count on it. Today is ready cash: Use it! -Edwin C. Bliss

Whew!  That’s a ton of past & present quotations!  Hopefully you’ve found some that blew your mind and will improve your life.  If so, which ones?  Please tell me in the comment section below.

Also, if you enjoyed these, please do us a favor and spread the love by liking & sharing this page using the social media buttons at the top/bottom…or do the ultimate: link to us via your own site/blog!  Thanks!  -Shawn

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If you still need more past & present quotes, you can find more here & here.

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    • David
    • January 21, 2010

    if but not for now, I would be a ‘thing’ of the past!

    • Kumkum Akhouri
    • January 21, 2010

    Nothing ever gets anywhere. The earth keeps turning round and gets nowhere. The moment is only thing that counts. -Jean Cocteau

    Wonderful Thought for the day !

    • David Parrish
    • January 21, 2010

    Thanks for the list of thoughts on the past, present and future. While some are thought provoking, some are insightful and still others are non-sense I believe the wise man recognizes the value and shortcomings of taking stock of all three, For character is indebted to the past, redeemed by the present and directed by the future. Whether we chose to try to stay where we are, go back to where we came from or plot a new course that choice will always direct, destroy or embolden our present and establish the content of our character. (This is not a quote, it is an observation of my own.)

    • Alix Dean
    • May 21, 2013

    David Parrish- May I use what you said in your comment?

    • Dr. Mohammad Farooq Rather
    • July 18, 2014

    We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow. -Fulton Oursler

    • Jack
    • October 25, 2014

    This list was very helpful and has brought me peace. Many enlightening quotes by amazing human beings. Thanks for this wonderful contribution!

    1. Reply

      You’re welcome, Jack!

    • Dub
    • January 8, 2019

    there is a saying n a church sign I like. “No one has a past only a future”

    1. Reply

      I love it!!

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