I found this great article called Cathedral Thinking. If you've ever been to any of these great buildings, you are amazed by the scale, the beauty, and the engineering that went into it. The Washington National Cathedral (pictured here) is a good example. It's just down the street from where I go to school a couple of times a year. It is a magnificent example of Gothic architecture and was voted one of the three most beautiful buildings in America by the American Institute of Architects (The Empire State Building was ranked No. 1, and the White House, No. 2; go here for the full list; the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island was the only Hawaii building listed)
The article pointed out that many of the great cathedrals were built in a span of time that exceeded the lifetime of any of the participants of the planners and original builders.
For example, the Washington National Cathedral was first envisioned with the setting aside of land for a national church in 1792. Plans to build the cathedral weren't renewed until 1891, and construction didn't begin until 1907. The cathedral was completed in 1990. This means that 198 years passed from the beginning of the vision to its completion.
The people who first thought about building the cathedral knew that they might never see their ideas and dreams come to complete fruition in their lifetimes. That did not keep them from going ahead and putting this dream into reality. They wanted to build a place that would serve untold generations of people.
In anything in life, I think that cathedral thinking is important. Our thinking, planning, and dreaming should have the future in mind - what we do now will affect future generations, for good and for bad.
May what we do be remembered as something that was a blessing.