Sometimes the mot juste (the best phrase) has already been written. In that spirit, here are what some famous folks might have said in response to the Seven Questions About the Future.
The present is the future relative to the past. What is the best thing about living in the future?
"The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time." --Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
What's the biggest disappointment?
"There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love." -- Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968), U.S. clergyman, civil rights leader. “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Why We Can’t Wait (1963).
"Disappointment proves that expectations were mistaken." -- Mason Cooley (b. 1927), U.S. aphorist. City Aphorisms, Eighth Selection, New York (1991).
Assuming you die at the age of 100, what will be the biggest difference be between the world you were born into and the world you leave?
"People over 100 are the fastest-growing group in America. People soon will be working 'til 100 — some because they have to — and living 'til 125 or even 135. What do I know, I'm just a weatherman, but I've made a hobby of studying this, and it's phenomenal." — Willard Scott , 67, NBC's Today show
What future development that you consider likely (or inevitable) do you look forward to with the most anticipation?
"Before I had my first child, I never really looked forward in anticipation to the future. As I watched my son grow and learn, I began to imagine the world this generation of children would live in. I thought of the children they would have, and of their children. I felt connected to life both before my time and beyond it. Children are our link to future generations that we will never see." -- Louise Hart (20th century), U.S. psychologist, educator. The Winning Family, ch. 26 (1987).
"Such is the state of life, that none are happy but by the anticipation of change: the change itself is nothing; when we have made it, the next wish is to change again. The world is not yet exhausted; let me see something tomorrow which I never saw before." -- Samuel Johnson (1709–1784), British author, lexicographer. Nekayah, in The History of Rasselas, ch. 47 (1759).
What future development that you consider likely (or inevitable) do you dread the most?
"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." -- George Bernard Shaw
Assuming you have the ability to determine (or at least influence) the future, what future development that you consider unlikely (or are uncertain about) would you most like to help bring about?
"It's not enough to have a dream, Unless you're willing to pursue it. It's not enough to know what's right, Unless you're strong enough to do it. It's not enough to learn the truth, Unless you also learn to live it. It's not enough to reach for love, Unless you care enough to give it Men who are resolved to find a way for themselves will always find opportunities enough; and if they do not find them, they will make them." -- Samuel Smiles.
"All people dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind, wake in the morning to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people, for they dream their dreams with open eyes, and make them come true." -- T.E. Lawrence (AKA Lawrence of Arabia)
Why is it that in the year 2003 I still don't have a flying car? When do you think I'll be able to get one?
"Not every one of our desires can be immediately gratified. We've got to learn to wait patiently for our dreams to come true, especially on the path we've chosen. But while we wait, we need to prepare symbolically a place for our hopes and dreams." -- Sarah Ban Breathnach Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy
"Stop the mindless wishing that things would be different. Rather than wasting time and emotional and spiritual energy in explaining why we don't have what we want, we can start to pursue other ways to get it." -- Greg Anderson, US basketball player.
"Suppose someone has frequently flown in his dreams and finally becomes conscious of a power and an art of flying just as soon as he starts dreaming, as though it were his privilege, and also his most personal and enviable happiness: one who believes he can realize every sort of curve and angle with the lightest impulse, who knows the feeling of a certain divine frivolity, an “upwards” without tension or duress, a “downwards” without condescension and humiliation—without gravity! How could a man who enjoyed such dream-experiences and dream-habits fail to discover in the end that the word “happiness” was differently colored and defined in his waking hours as well? How could he fail to—desire happiness differently?" -- Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 5, pp. 114-115, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Beyond Good and Evil, “Fifth Part: Natural History of Morals,” section 193 (1886).
"It is only possible to succeed at second-rate pursuits—like becoming a millionaire or a prime minister, winning a war, seducing beautiful women, flying thought the stratosphere or landing on the moon. First-rate pursuits—involving, as they must, trying to understand what life is about and trying to convey that understanding—inevitably result in a sense of failure. A Napoleon, a Churchill, a Roosevelt can feel themselves to be successful, but never a Socrates, a Pascal, a Blake. Understanding is for ever unattainable. Therein lies the inevitablility of failure in embarking upon its quest, which is none the less the only one worthy of serious attention." -- Malcolm Muggeridge (1903–1990), British broadcaster. “Woman’s Hour,” radio broadcast, Aug. 5, 1965, quoted in “Failure,” Muggeridge through the Microphone (1967).Posted by Michael S. Sargent at November 18, 2003 05:48 AM | TrackBack