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Years ago, an anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student, what she considered to be the first sign of Civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fish hooks or clay pots or grinding stones.

But no. Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You can’t run from danger, get to the river for water or hunt for food. You are a prey for prowling predators. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.

A broken femur (thighbone) that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has cured the wound, has carried the person to safety and has taken care of the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts, Mead said.

What a simplistic explanation of Civilization. Going through this deep and meaningful definition, a question arises in my mind - Are we Civilized ??

Let's have a fact check with modern day norms of civilization.

  • Build your muscles. Especially if you are weak militarily. You can’t be weak as a nation and expect things to go on great.

  • Merchants go to city states and neighbouring nations to bring me wealth and information. The One Belt One Road Initiative of China is a modern day glaring example. . Autarky is dead. Trade is king.

  • Buying votes and support are vital tools. You are never too honest to lobby or buy policies to your favour.

  • Anytime I am behind on research or lagging in place of technology I set my spies to stealing research secrets. Copying is good if you can’t innovate or invent. But make sure you do good at copying and innovation comes later . Every nation did that at some point USA with British' Industrial revolution secrets: Korea with Japanese tech secrets: China with everyone’s.

  • Alexander holds a powerful grip on city states and a war with him can go on for turns with just proxies, giving him ample time to raise his main invading forces. Eliminate unfriendly nations early on or never allow any other nation find alliance with city states near your borders. (china with all neighbours, Russia with Ukraine)

  • Modern Norm of China’s prosperity. Spy! spy ! spy ! friends, neighbours, and enemies.

  • Go build a nuclear bomb quickly and stockpile to the hilt! Never fall behind in the armament race or let any nation eclipse you in military tech or innovation.

  • Use your soft power. Religion is very important; for influence beyond your borders and national identity.

  • Finally, control of a key resource like Oil a better option to trade. When you can and get a city-states close with oil or a weak neighbour. Invade and take it. And do help yourself to other resources.

All this has led to a situation where corruption is increasing, people are becoming socially irresponsible, exploiting mother earth and promoting discrimination and inequalities.

The notion of collective survival has changed to individual, the empathy has changed to sympathy, the helping hand to hands which exploit, nature to natural resources for exploitation, responsibilities to rights, escape the responsibilities than to take action.

We are at our best when we serve others. Be civilized.

But the question is, are we ?

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