I like this quotation because it seems so true; yet, I do not believe in it. It does seem like the past defines our future: high school, college, neighborhoods, friends, family, income level, ethnicity.
I have always considered the past as a “race with the devil”. There is this need to race forward or the past will catch up and confine you. A person will stop resisting and settle into the preconceived notions that society has set for him.
It is said that Herodotus wrote the first history book back around 500 BC. That book was not a scientific history with exact names, dates, and locations. It was actually a book of moral philosophy and the book used history as a background for learning life lessons.
The past is good for learning lessons; but we cannot become comfortable with resting in, nor fearing, the past. We have to keep pushing forward and sometimes that means letting go of the past. I have known people who had great minds; but they got too comfortable, or there was a bad memory that they could not get over, and it ruined them.
Without a past, a man has no future. For Richard Kimble, his memories are the source of his courage. They give him the strength to face another uncertain tomorrow. – The Fugitive 1966