We are all passengers on time's arrow. Whether a life is very brief, six months as an example, or unusually long, 110 years, it is miniscule when compared to geological time. We are but momentary inspirations in the breathing universe. If we had this perspective about life, I believe we would be a much saner species.
Reason is the one faculty that separates humans apart from all other species on the planet. It is, indeed, unfortunate that we do not utilize this capacity in ordinary existence. The leaders who propel us forward tap human emotion instead in order to further their own interests. If humans are to ever break free from the seemingly endless cycle of empire building and dissolution, we must radically change the way we view and respond to the world around us.