"It is an odd thing about mortal creatures: there's some sentiment among them that, to an immortal being such as myself, time is of no concern. That we would refer to something that happened a thousand years ago, just as casually as they would talk of yesterday. Or that almost no long-term changes surprise us, for we have had 'all this time' to see them come to fruition.
To such talk I say nonsense. I have seen and lived in the world of a thousand years past, and FAR beyond that--I was but a filly when writing was a new invention. And even with all the time I've lived, all the things I've seen and done; whether great or terrible...Equestria, and the whole world of today still surprises me.
Cities have gone from stone and mortar, to metal and glass--A thousand years ago I could have never imagined this, yet today this is the norm. Today, stone and mortar are choices of aesthetics.
Once, the only way for a wingless creature to fly was in an over-sized balloon; or in an airship if they were rich enough to afford one. I regarded them as nothing but toys. Why attain some fake, artificial flight when your own legs are good enough, or when you could take a ship? Now, any being can fly around the whole planet in but a few hours, all for the price of a ticket.
And of the mortals themselves? A thousand years ago they were...insular when it came to other races; other species. Most nations even were named for their dominant creature--the Griffin Kingdom, the Changeling Enclave, even old Equestria. They all kept to themselves; did little dealings with other races beyond some mundane diplomacy...or the occasional war. And what you may call 'racism' or 'bigotry' today, was the norm and mutual. An immigrant would think himself, say, a griffin first, an Equestrian citizen second. And ponies would think of him the same way, so there would be a faint fog of mistrust over even the most jovial of friendships. Today, borders once closed are now open and porous. Ponies, griffins, minotaurs, even Changelings--they all mingle and mix live together, blending into one crowd.
A thousand years ago, even with all I had seen until then, I could never have imagined ANY of these changes, or the countless others the world has seen since then. Sometimes I even wonder if I missed the early signs of them, or overlooked patterns that I could have predicted from.
Please, do not think that being immortal means that you cannot be surprised. After all, I never reckoned on meeting you"
--Empress Luna to Human diplomats shortly after First Contact.