“Civilization has been thrust upon me…” Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux, 1868-1937
Two of the definitions of the word civilization at Dictionary.com. The word is from the French. I looked it up this morning, as I pondered the state of our world this week and its events in Paris.
“an advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture, science, industry, and government has been reached.”
“cultural refinement; refinement of thought and cultural appreciation”
A lifelong perception, that I live
in a civilized world, that we’ve grown apart
from the primitive beginnings, from superstitions
in my Canadian culture. Raised to polite behavior,
to please and thank-you, ladies first, hats off indoors.
The first crack in the veneer, October 22nd, 2014 when
terror and death arrived on Ottawa’s doorstep.
No longer an isolated capital at the end of secondary highways,
but scene of the death of an innocent belief that we were safer.
This week, terrorists slaughter journalists, kill cartoonists
in Paris, January 7 2015. Yesterday, a policewoman.
And today, six hostages in eastern Paris at a supermarket
on Pointe de Vincennes, among them a baby of six months.
My definition of civilized world twists into caricature of itself.
CAS Jan 9 2015