Someone recently asked me if I am optimistic about the future of humanity. Despite dire statistics and the (anecdotal?) knowledge that people care more about maintaining quality of life than about big-context global sustainability*, I still feel that people work best at gunpoint. The worst may not yet have arrived, but neither has the best, and we have to traverse the former for the latter. That is just how we are. (Hopefully the wake-up call isn't full-on apocalypse, though.)
For as much waste and destruction we're capable of producing, we are just as equipped for producing miracles. There are some who say we are fascinated by our trajectory toward imminent tragedy. This isn't the case, and every little thing we do -- connecting with the world, self-organising for human rights, cooperative farming, purchasing locally, correcting wrongs, even advertising with greater care for both the long-term sustainability of the brand and our children -- makes a ripple in the sea of our collective destinies.
*There are currently as many people alive on Earth today as the total number of human deaths since the beginning of organised civilization: 6.8 billion. Is that not ostentatious?