Monday, January 25, 2010

Compassion Equals Civilization

Our pastor shared this story as part of his homily Sunday.

A reporter once asked the noted anthropologist Margaret Mead what evidence she had used in determining the beginning of civilization. He expected that either an arrow or flintstone might be the answer or possibly on a higher plane it could be a musical instrument or a bowl or something of that nature. Her answer apparently surprised him.

She said it was a "broken, but healed, femur." She went on to explain that it demonstrated that when misfortune fell upon the injured person it was obvious that someone, whether it be a family member or just some kindly person, would have had to wait on him or her allowing the bone to heal. Someone would have had to gather food and bring it to the injured person. Someone had to have had compassion for another and manifested that feeling long enough for the injury to heal.

My personal addition is that Margaret Mead, herself, had to be much more than just a scientist interested in facts and evidence. Her interpretation tells us as much about her as about her research. It is no wonder she is thought of so highly.

And of course you are wondering how this relates to politics. I can only say that we should be able to expect no less compassion from those we elect to represent us. Redistribution of wealth is certainly not compassionate--stealing from one group of people to give to others based solely on numbers seems to be missing the point.

The new "middle class" gift giving seems to miss it by a mile. If a family of 4 with two kids in college making $250,000 a year with two sets of parents to take care of would seem to be just as needy as a couple with no children and no needy parents in the $85,000 bracket. Just grabbing numbers out of the air, but you get the picture. Think about it.

God bless..........

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The death toll from Katrina was 2,000. The Wall Street Journal points out that as of Monday that death toll in Haiti was 150,000. Untold numbers are dying of untreated, preventable infections. For all the outcry about Katrina, our nation has fared no better in this latest disaster.