Posted by: nmontague | June 23, 2010

Civilization

No, I’m not talking about the game, though it can be fun at times. I am talking about Civilization as a concept today. What does it mean? What is it? I’ve been reflecting on it a bit tonight because I have been looking at what’s going on in the news and what is being talked about on the internet, and it’s very clear to me that we are heading to a turning point in civilization.

It’s kind of funny. We can look throughout history at the rise and fall of countless civilization after civilization. Yet, we think “Oh that will never happen to us.” Really? Why not? What makes us so much better than countless generations of humanity? Our technology? No. We only have our technology because we have built on the work they have done. Civilizations have gained great knowledge and lost it. Look at Germany during the Nazi regime. They destroyed countless books. How much knowledge was lost because they wanted to ignore the lessons of the past that disagreed with their agenda? And look how quickly it happened.

I think we sometimes decieve ourselves. We think that peace and stability and growth are the norm. But look at the history of the world. For the vast majority of people who have lived, they aren’t. This isn’t the norm. This is something we’ve created because of the choices we’ve made. And unfortunately, it’s also something we can destroy with the choices we make, or worse, when we make no choices at all and just expect things to be the same.

But civilization is fragile. It can also be an illusion. We may think everything is perfectly great, and then one event occurs that knocks down the house of cards. Look at World War I. Who on earth could have said that Millions of people would die and the whole world would be at war because someone most of the world didn’t know about was assassinated? The Archduke Ferdinand moment happened because the civilizations at the time decieved themselves as to what reality was. They were blinded by pride, completely uncivil, and dishonest. And assumed that the way things are now, are the way things will always be.

This is why it is so important that we build virtuous lives in ourselves and in our families. Because if we don’t build these lives, if we don’t instill these values, the time will come when our civilization will collapse. And the greater the civilization the harder it will fall. We need to be prepared and have our children and maybe even their children prepared for this. Or else we will be in serious trouble. People will run around afraid and attrocious things will happen. But if you are prepared, you will not fear.

Faith, Humility, Hard work, Honesty with self and others, Civility, Personal Charity, Thrift, Patience, etc. We need these attributes. We need to find a desire to learn, and to learn from as close to the source as possible. Don’t take what others say at face value. Look into it and investigate. Think about things. Experiment and learn. Pray and ponder. Learn skills necessary to survive.

Do you have a garden? Start one if you can and grow some food. Because food is vital. Store food as you can. Have some in cases of emergencies. If for some reason we have an oil shortage, how will food get to the stores? We need to have alternatives or we will starve.

Do you struggle at reading, writing, or speaking? Learn to do it better. Practice grammar. Practice penmenship. Learn Vocabulary and learn to speak, even if it’s just in a mirror everyday. Read outloud to your children. So you can have confidence to use your voice and you can teach them to love to learn as well. Ask for help if you need it. There are plenty of people who will help you.

Learn history. Yours and others. The more you understand about the relationships and acts people have done in the past and the consequences thereof, the better you will be able to

Develop skills. Learn to use tools. Learn to build. Learn the law. Learn how to budget and about finance. Invest your money wisely, and if you can invest in yourself and your family. Learn First Aid.

Don’t take for granted what you have. Make sure your life is built on a solid foundation. Because if it’s not bad things will happen and you will be unprepared. There is no question that we will have difficulties in life. The success and advancement of our civilization will only occur when we are adequately prepared to deal with those challenges when they arise and can help others do the same. That requires those virtues I mentioned. That requires preparation and skills.

Never assume something can’t or won’t happen to you. Anything is possible. And if we ignore that, we are setting ourselves up to be seriously hurt.

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