I was watching Apollo 13 the other day and a thought came to mind. Today we have no great vision to strive for. Maybe that's too strong, but what I'm getting at is right now there's no vision to go to the moon, end oppressive and dangerous powers, grand quests to discover new worlds. In the past, audacious goals have shocked and inspired generations. We need a leader with the incredible charisma and buy-in to announce a vision that will shift the paradigm of our history. Once the world was flat. We need something to that effect. (The US economy will be the first example that there is a vision, akin to Roosevelt and the Great Depression, but we are nowhere near the Great Depression levels.)
It can be argued the current exploration in the bio-medical industry is such a vision, with mapping DNA, cancer research, and the like. These are no less important, and ground-breaking efforts, but for the average person, it's hard to grasp the tangible result. You don't see a DNA molecule every night in the sky. It's difficult to connect with microscopic materials. Cancer doesn't have a face, but it's victims do. Basically our pursuits have turned towards a microscope instead of a telescope.
It can be hard to be forward thinking about history-making, but we are living in one right now with the Internet. While it doesn't have the nostalgic, Rockwellian feel as the family huddled around the television or radio during an important event, nor does it have a singular pivotal point, but the Internet is an important medium that has changed the world forever. In all the years of mankind we have explored and expanded, finding new territories and spreading across the globe. Now we are shrinking, decreasing distances to others through the Internet. Social media, news access, and personal relationships that have been brought closer with the Internet.