Patient optimists...have lowered their expectations of any particular program or intervention, but not their belief in a better world over the long term. If we’re going to succeed in making the world a better place, we need to convince more people to lower their expectations, too. Then we can get about the work of trying, failing, learning, improving—and truly making the world a better place.While I might use "realistic expectations" rather than "lower expectations," the point is well taken that social investments must be made for the long term. It is easy to think that your individual contribution--whether that be time or money--can create transformative, society-spanning, poverty-ending change, in reality it is just a small part of the collective action needed. That does not diminish your contribution, but it does extend the time-frame out a little bit further.
We'll just have to be patient.