Anthropologist Margaret Mead once noted that in the mammal kingdom, a fractured bone (specifically the femur) never has the chance to heal. Prey mammals can’t escape. Predators can’t chase. The sick and injured are always the first on the menu. When a broken bone heals, it leaves a permanent scar in the bone, and a healed femur has never been found in fragment or fossil. There is a singular exception to this rule, Mead observes — humans beginning about 15,000 years ago.
Throughout the world today, people are looking at the oldest generations and learning a difficult truth about why those who survived in times of global strife carry the lessons of frugality even in times of plenty. Keeping gardens. Saving food for hard times…Those are the people who were ready to fall, the people who will help the broken bones to heal.
Tyler Reinhard (designer of Signal), Rare Earth Newsletter: ‘How to Fall’.
The virus we face here is fear, whether it is fear of Covid-19, or fear of the totalitarian response to it, and this virus too has its terrain. Fear, along with addiction, depression, and a host of physical ills, flourishes in a terrain of separation and trauma: inherited trauma, childhood trauma, violence, war, abuse, neglect, shame, punishment, poverty, and the muted, normalized trauma that affects nearly everyone who lives in a monetized economy, undergoes modern schooling, or lives without community or connection to place. This terrain can be changed, by trauma healing on a personal level, by systemic change toward a more compassionate society, and by transforming the basic narrative of separation: the separate self in a world of other, me separate from you, humanity separate from nature. To be alone is a primal fear, and modern society has rendered us more and more alone. But the time of Reunion is here. Every act of compassion, kindness, courage, or generosity heals us from the story of separation, because it assures both actor and witness that we are in this together.
Charles Eisenstein, ‘The Coronation’