If You Don't Learn from History...

By Ron Rosenberg

As I write this week's article, the European Community finds itself in deep economic trouble again, as Greece announces that it may not be able to meet the financial goals that were agreed to as a condition of the series of loans from three main sources.

It's not my intent to turn this newsletter into a primer on world economies - and I'm far from qualified to do that even if I wanted to.

Instead, I thought I'd share a quote that I think best sums up what needs to happen in Europe, and here at home as well:

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest (the state) become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."

This isn't a quote by a presidential candidate, a "Tea Party" activist, or a media pundit.

Instead it is attributed to Cisero, a famous Roman statesman and orator who lived from 106 BC to 43 BC, dying at the (then) ripe old age of 63.

The philosopher George Santayana wrote in his 1905 work, The Life of Reason, Volume 1, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Although often misquoted and paraphrased, the general sentiment is accurate and relevant: in terms of the broad patterns and cycles that affect our lives - at home, in society, and at work - there is very little going on now that hasn't occurred many times throughout recorded history.

The trick is to study the past in order to gain insight into the present and position yourself for success in the future.