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How Civilized Are You?

It has been on my mind for some time lately that the nature of evil is showing it's face more boldly than at any other time in history. And we call ourselves civilized!
People of religion would put that down to the coming apocolypse touted in every Bible ever published.
People of science/technology, would put that down to progress - of any kind.
People of reason would put that down to - well, that's the point really. There are so few people of reason left in this world.
Humanity from the moment they could stand upright, has woven it's societies, religions, values and belief systems around the concept of Good and Evil, Good vs. Evil, Love and Hate, Love vs. Hate. Out of this obsession with balance; to simply make sense of the world; mankind has evolved out of superstition and ignorance directly into information creating progress, creating more information, and further and further away from the basics of Humanity itself.
We call ourselves a civilized global society. How arrogant we are to do so. Civilization does not denote progress. Civilization is not reflected in knowledge gained and passed on. Civilization is not the inventing and having of 'modern' conveniences and material goods or the knowledge and technology of the 'ages'. But I defy anyone to totally agree with those statements. It would seem - well, at best, an uneducated opinion to hold, and at worst, just down right uncivilized to think in such a manner!
In our arrogance at being at the top of the food chain, we have lost the true meaning and interpretation of Civilization. We have forgotten what truly set us apart from every other living organism on earth. After all, the study of many animals proves the existence within various diverse groups (lions and tigers and bears, oh my!) the formation of social orders, pecking orders and acceptable and non-acceptable behaviours. We, as PEOPLE, have forgotten, lost, destroyed and re-invented, the wheels of our own humanity which put us at the head of that food chain. And no - it is not the ability to think, to reason, to problem solve. In animals we call that instinct. That does not change the intelligence of it. And it is the re-emmergence of our own basic instincts so prevelent in today's conducting of 'society', that rather tarnishes those golden towers of reason and progress we so stupidly believe we are living in.
Fear not! We do still possess those 'wheels of humanity' that set us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom - though frankly, they seem to be only self-serving shadows of their former selves.
Can you guess what those"wheels" are called? There are four of them. And one through four, they progress naturally to form the basis of what makes the human heart and mind deserving of being called civilized.
I am not going to tell you what they are. I want YOU to tell ME. I want YOU to examine yourself, your view of the world, your experiences within your world and tell me what you think they are. I'll give you a hint however. In the overall view of life and society as we know it today, these qualities are rare in their abundance and vary in degress from person to person.
Sadly, one only has to pay attention to their leaders, their family members, their neighbours and their connections here, there and everywhere to see what's truly lacking.
The 'wheels' of humanity which keep civilization rolling. What are yours? And once identified, how would you then define civilization? It's certainly not the Webster definition!
LoveandLaughter LoveandLaughter 56-60, F Feb 25, 2008

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