A student asked the question to Margaret Mead, an anthropologist.
Student: What she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture.
The student expected Mead to talk about Fire, Fish Hooks, Clay Pots or grinding stones, wheels, etc.
Mead: The first sign of civilization in 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. Because if your leg breaks that means you cannot run from danger, you can’t get to the river for a drink or hunt for food.
Then you are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.
So for the first time when a broken femur healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one 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 is where civilization starts, Mead replied."
We are at our best when we serve others. —Be civilized.