To my mind there are commonalities amongst periods of sustained "growth and benefit" which we can characterize as "Golden Ages" in human history. The list is as follows:
1) Innovation based on human needs and evidence based effects on the collective whole, not just for the individual's absolute gain. 2) Responsive governance within society to the needs of the general public in favor of the general public, rather than the handful of people who actually hold and make the choices in a given society. 3) The enabling, if not, enforcement of wealth to flow to the general public such that people can still become rich individually, but not outside of the social bounds of the rest of the people who produce wealth. 4) Obedience to lower, bottom-up laws, conditions, and needs with top-down enabling this bottom-up directed growth in a coordinated and mediated manner. 5) A healthy respect for nature and the environments in which we find ourselves. 6) Adaptation of, rather than conservation or preservation of ideals in the face of evidence and practical results. 7) A healthy but not foolish respect for all other societies and peoples living on the planet with us.
From my (sketchy) knowledge of the history of the more positive times in humanity (such as Ancient Egypt, the golden ages of China, al-Andalus and the Islamic Golden Age, the Serenissima of Venice, the American 20th century, etc) these are common social, political, economic, and environmental traits that characterize these high points. Failure to adhere to any combination of these seven generally resulted in the long term decay and collapse of those who failed to abide by these natural laws and principles which enable societies to survive and maybe thrive and flourish. Governing groups need to respect and actually love in a non-grasping manner their people, the environment, and other societies in order to prevent wars, resolve conflicts peacefully, and coordinate domestically and internationally to resolve common internal and external problems through the sharing of knowledge, awareness, and practices, working to produce better societies internally first, and then working in concert with each other on the international level next.
I'm specifically talking about a massive top-down coordination amongst governments on all levels with a focus on bottom-up results, which then should cause adaptation and alterations on the top-down level again in an on-going dialogue between the governed and all levels of government, from the international level down to the smallest local unit that is possible in the given domestic society in order to produce a happier, healthier, more sustainable, and more resilient society that can survive, adapt, and grow with any and all shocks that are likely to happen. I want a society that can proactively persevere anything the universe may throw at it and avoid the pitfalls that it itself can create for itself through its lack of knowledge, wisdom, compassion, understanding or acceptance of facts. These seven, to my knowledge and awareness, are the groundwork traits that a society's people and governing body must practice within themselves in order to create that happier, healthier, more sustainable, and more resilient society. We cannot afford to continue to do the same things as we've done in the past and expect different results, especially as conditions continue to change on their own and by our own actions. We can either live in this happier, healthier, more sustainable, and more resilient society, or we can live in the same way we've done in the past and continue to be at severe risk of obliteration by our own hands or some other unknown force in the universe. Relaxation is not an option, I'm afraid to say, nor should we be lackadaisical about our condition as a species or a society. That's a sure way to get oneself and ones' people killed and rendered unable to recover in the long and short term. The choice is up to each of you.
This is what I can tell at present based upon my understanding and knowledge of the past and how things work in the present. We can either grow up from a world of ideologies and embrace evidence with a bias towards facts and the truth. Or, we can continue to wallow in our narrow vision of humanity and ourselves, and cease to be a problem in the universe. The choice is up to each of you as to whether you are more apart of the solution or the problem. What are you going to do?