“The Trouble With the Future is—it Isn’t What it Used To Be”


by Burt Dubin on June 6, 2013

“The trouble with the future is——it isn’t what it used to be”

Paul Valery (1871-1945) writes these words. I first hear them

from Robert Mayer Evans in 1984. He repeats this piercing quote several times during his general session speech at my first NSA Convention. I cannot forget them. They sear my heart.

Your future is changed forever. The curtain is rising. The overture is starting. There are several acts to follow.

The trouble with the future is, it isn’t what it used to be.

The day is come; the hour is here; the moment is at hand. How are we to use the privilege of the platform? What are we speakers and trainers to do as we stand before our audiences?


We are to reflect the lofty principles first articulated and modeled by

Cavett Robert, founder of National Speakers Association. Unyielding

ethical attitudes and actions are to be vivified by all we think, say, and do,

on as well as off the platform.

We are to be voices of hope and comfort as we share our perceived

truth. We are in no way to be inflammatory. We are to be voices of

reason and faith and especially, hope. Now we stand shoulder to shoulder

in a common cause.

Finally, we are to do our job. To teach what to be and why, as well as the specifics of what to do and how assigned to us by our clients.

We are to stand tall, proud of our calling. Blessed by our opportunity

to be alive and to make a positive difference in these tremulous times.

The trouble with the future is——it isn’t what it used to be.

Burt Dubin works with people who want to  be speakers  and with speakers who want to be masters.

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