“History is clear. Those individuals and societies that are remembered were builders. Sometimes the building is physical, sometimes the building is intellectual. But those who are remembered are always builders.
“…Humans have a sense of coming from somewhere and going to somewhere. Their future is not determined by the stars. It is under their control. They can make investments that create a future different from what it otherwise would have been. Humans can leave their footprints in the sands of time. Few will do this in the sense that their names are remembered, but many can do it in the sense that they participate in efforts that are remembered far into the future. Their part of the journey was a step forward.”
–Lester Thurow in Building Wealth: The New Rules for Individuals, Companies, and Nations in a Knowledge-Based Economy (1999). Read a nice summary and critique here at Foreign Affairs.