I wish I could say where I heard it from (I don't remember), but for the average person, things have been getting progressively more awesome as time goes on. I mean, when you think about it, like 99% (don't quote me on that number, lol) of the people were slaves, serfs, or poor farmers who could live to the ripe old age of 18 before dying of... everything. The other 1% of people lived slightly longer and died of a smaller subset of things, but the distinction wasn't much better. Now, your average person (in the developed world) can live to 50+ (and that's in a relatively "bad" life), and things are sooo much better than they were in, say, the "dark ages" or imperial china for your average person. Things aren't great outside of the developed world, but through Kiva.org and the efforts of nerdfighters (those who are and those yet to be), we can (hopefully) give them a sustainable shot at a better life too.
I think that, in and of itself, is awesome, and I hope for more of that.
My ideal future is hilariously unrealistic (it would involve magical unicorns and lots of cake among other things). But I'm hopeful that we, as a species, can muddle through somehow and live to see a shinier world, and to see a little farther out, every single day.