Smart people have left their positive implant on civilization over the ages and will continue to do so even during the senescence of our industrial civilization even though circumstances are not encouraging. They know their mortality will give them only a limited amount of time to strive to meet realistic goals. These goals generally depend on circumstances outside of their control. Africans, in the main, have to set their sights lower than most Americans or Australians. Those who are denied a good education through a range of possible factors can be smart by learning from other sources, including from the examples set by people successful in worthwhile fields. Females have to set their sights lower than males in those activities based on bodily strength but not necessarily on degree of smartness. It is not smart for talented musicians to strive for excellence in a sport for which their body is not suited.
Smart people do not just hope that their circumstance will improve. They will strive to make the decisions that will make the best use of their talents and skills to help family and friends to cope with reality. Smart people will not be conned by the media advertisements to buy goods they really do not need. They certainly will not be convinced by the rhetoric of politicians about about the merits of economic growth because they understand the ecological cost of the ravishing by the systems of civilization.
Smart people will strive to extract some wisdom from the vast amount of information produced by the digital revolution.