Fireside Chats: The First Sign of Civilization

I came across this while websurfing the other day and it struck me as apropos for this time of uncertainty in which we all find ourselves. It involves pre-humans and so qualifies for mention on a website dedicated to werewolves, and it also, I think, offers a bit of hope, a word of comfort, an assurance that we aren’t in this alone. It’s from a paper entitled THE BEST CARE POSSIBLE: A PHYSICIAN’S QUEST TO TRANSFORM CARE THROUGH THE END OF LIFE by Ira Byock, or was so attributed.

When anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked what constituted the first sign of civilization in human culture, Ms. Mead replied that it was the broken bone of a relic that had healed. She pointed out that, in the wild, a broken leg meant almost certain death. You couldn’t run away from predators. You couldn’t hunt. You were largely helpless. It would be highly unlikely that an animal would survive in the wild long enough for a broken bone to mend. Said Mead: “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.”

By The Evil Cheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (,, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at


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