ADDA B. ḤUNYA:
The homiletic observation on Eccl. i. 4 ("One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth forever") has thus been transmitted by him: "Consider the present generation as good as the generation that is passed and gone. Say not, 'Were R. Akiba living. I would study the Bible under him; were R. Zerah and R. Johanan living, I would read Mishnah before them.' But consider the generation that has arisen in thy days, and the wise men of thy time, as good as the previous generations and as the earlier wise men that have been before thee" (Eccl. R. ad loc.; compare Midr. Sam. § 15).