Sunday, October 22, 2023

Broken Bones

Morning plans thwarted by rain, I decided to deal with three different flights for my New Year travels to Australia/Asia. Decided to talk to a human being instead of get them online and it was a great decision. More efficient, more effective and we had a nice repartee going. Both of us amazed that if he tried to do a multi-city format on United, it would cost $1300 from SF to Sydney and then $7000 from Sydney to Taipei! So I had him skip that leg and just include Taipei to SF in the multi-city itinerary. He came up with $9000. But if he just did a Taipei to SF one-way and disconnected it from the multi-city format, it was $860. What the hell? Needless to say, we went that route and then I found my own ticket on Orbitz from Sydney to Taipei for $460. 


So what does this have to do with broken bones? Absolutely nothing! But after writing a chapter in my book this morning, answering e-mails and booking these flights, I had nothing left for this Blogpost. So a good time to borrow from something I saw on Facebook so you can come away with a few thoughts more stimulating than how to book flights. It was signed by someone named Ira Byock, so thank, Ira, for this thought-provoking piece, especially in this time of great need in the Ukraine and Middle East.


Years ago, 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 fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones.


But no. 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. You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.

A broken femur that has 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 said."


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


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