• In regard to the past, where contemplation is not obscured by desire and the need for action, we see, more clearly than in the lives about us, the value for good and evil, of the aims men have pursued and the means they have adopted. It is good, from time to time, to view the present as already past, and to examine what elements it contains that will add to the world's store of permanent possessions, that will live and give life when we and all our generation have perished.

    Bertrand Russell (1985). “Contemplation and Action, 1902-14”, p.80, Psychology Press