This section is from the book "Principles Of Sociology With Educational Applications", by Frederick R. Clow. Also available from Amazon: Principles of sociology with educational applications.
. . . The sense of time must come to include a long past and a limitless future, and the sense of terrestrial space to extend beyond the confines of community or nation. Nor are these to be conceived as empty duration and mere physical distance, but as filled with human generations, each a link in the great chain of life that began at the beginning and will go on till the end. And with this concept must rise the feeling of kinship, the sense of relationship, with all that have come before and that will come after. - Betts, Social Principles of Education, p. 235.
The Present is ever a mystery to us until it is irradiated by some knowledge of the Past. The glittering symbols we see around us - Church, School, Court, and Camp - seem to the unlettered, as they do to children, to be fixed and rooted in eternity, and to be as much a part of the economy of Nature as the sun, moon, and stars. But a glance along the perspective of history shows us that these, too, like the fleeting years, are evanescent and transitory; that Time changes, and will continue to change, their configuration and character; and that, as they sprang originally from the opinions, sentiments and necessities of men, so they will fade and disappear with them. - Crozier, Civilization and Progress, 4th ed., p. 19.
What is progress? We cannot say until we discern whither we are going. We must know what our goal is. Are we moving? If so, let us take a backward look and see whence we have come. It may help us to define our goal and say what progress is if we locate our present position in the time which has been covered, and is to be covered, by the career of mankind on the earth.
The world of human society is changing. One generation replaces another but it does not live the same kind of life as the other. We may have no doubt about that, but it may nevertheless be worth while to glance over the past in order to get a realization of how far we have traveled, and then to glance ahead at the road which lies before in order to see how far we may still have to go.