Sklover’s Monday Thought: “Civilization’s First Sign”

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“Helping someone through difficulty is where civilization begins.”

– Anthropologist Margaret Mead

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I recently read that Margaret Mead was once asked what was the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture. Was it a fishhook, a clay pot or a grinding stone? No, she responded; it was a healed leg bone. You see, when an animal, or human, breaks a leg bone, it can no longer feed itself, get to water, or protect itself from predators. If it had the time to rest, heal and recover, someone must have helped it do those things during its time of vulnerability. So, too, is it at work . . . each of us sometimes needs some guidance, direction, instruction, even just some patience, in order to perform our workplace duties, most especially when new on a job. To assist others in such times is to act civilized, to be dignified, to be worthy of admiration. And, too, to be deserving of that same “helping hand” when in need. A thought to ponder during this work week.           

This thoughtful quote came to my attention when perusing a recent copy of a magazine titled “Bits & Pieces,” a monthly compendium of such stimulating thoughts.

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