Back in college, before the turn of the millennium, I came across a novelette by the acclaimed author Kim Stanley Robinson that hit me like a punch to the gut.
Today I rediscovered it, and read it again, and it had the exact same effect...which is good, because I think it's one of the most profound pieces of writing I've ever encountered, and something that everyone should read.
(Follow the fake-cut to the story itself on Infinity Plus.)
I believe that man is good. I believe we stand at the dawn of a century that will be more peaceful and prosperous than any in history.