Thinking about masks, ventilators, nurses and the unbelievable degree of change in two weeks. I saw this on the internet and forgot to copy the source. I am indebted to the Rev. Devon Anderson for her summary:
“The anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones.
Instead, Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, get to the river for a drink, or hunt for food. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal. ‘A broken femur that has healed,” she said, ‘is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the person who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty where civilization starts.’”
“Taking time to stay with the person who fell” is something we don’t have to do in person. In fact, most of us can’t right now. Yet there are other ways of to be there: a phone call, a card, a message on social media. Also look for the leaders that understand civility and civilization. Listen to them.