At a dinner meeting today, the talk went to many countries that have glorious (old) past but not so good present or even (recent) past. It was observed that many people in such countries — and that included Iran, Egypt, India — are very proud of their past. Discussion was that most people in these countries always give example of how much contribution their countries made to the world and how their countries were far ahead of others at some point.
I feel that in too many cases, at every level in society from an individual to a country, the problem is that people who start living in the past live in persistent halluciantion and forget about the present and hurt seriously their future. If they have to build their future, it is important to know that being great in the past is no assurance for even being average in future. In fact, if you still arit is obvious that the time spent thinking of the past is not being used doing necessary things to build your future. So it is important to minimize dwelling on the past for the sake of your future.