What does civilization mean? Clean drinking water, sewers, clothes, food, health system, motorways, streets, buildings, schools, parks, transportation, innovation, inventions, discoveries, research. Knowledge, spread and access of and to technology, opportunities, perspective, freedom within the system rules, respect, judgment, abridgement, morality, honor, belonging; individual, family, society and national prosperity…how many more?
But what lays at the foundation of civilization? Is it technology? Is it progress? Or is it money? Which one does define the best a civilized society? What should you find at the very basics of humanity?
Self respect; as self respect leads to respect for others and environment itself. And this is possible, if not as a logical or natural thing, throughout education. Neither culture, nor religion should be the starting point of a civilized society, nation or group of people. And a civilized society is not necessarily a modern one, as technology-based world is not a guarantee for a civilized world. Innovation and technology just improve the quality of the physical part of life and not necessarily feeds the soul.
And I am talking here about the basics of education: those little things that can make a difference and have a great impact to the quality of our lives. And there are so many of them, starting with respect, continuing with common sense and judgment, ending with morality, social values and understanding. Is what we call the code of good manners or, as we say in my country, the 7 years at home.
What are these years to which you add countless years that follow and bring new experiences? Education and self-education.
Let me just point out some of this things and you can decided by yourself if they can or cannot change and/or improve the quality of life:
- reply “hi” when someone says “hi”;
- say “hello” when you get inside a new place;
- put the garbage into the garbage tank;
- offer your seat to a sick or older person or to a lady;
- help a person whose carrier bag has just broken;
- talk slowly to your phone in a public place;
- avoid smoking while walking on the street, not to bother others;
- walk on the right side;
- help a man or woman that is abused;
- stay vigilant in your neighbor;
- keep the streets, parks and the environment clean;
- behave in public places;
- avoid offending others, even if you had a bad day;
- offer flowers to your mother, sister, wife or beloved one;
- get a room if you want to do more than kissing; it’s ugly licking in public all the time;
- stay in line; do not cheat or be rude because you are not in the mood of waiting your turn;
- work and do not steal;
- drive carefully;
- cross only when green light;
- clean up after your dog;
- clean up after your kid also;
- help a sick person that you meat on the road;
- make room for those who want to hold on to the bar in public transportation vehicles;
- read a book, but keep clear of the beam;
- take your backpack down when you are in crowded places;
- adopt a child or an animal if you can;
- make sure animals are treated kindly, even if with purpose of eating;
- use plastic Christmas tree to preserve the natural firs and have cleaner air;
- explain to someone what he/she had done wrongly, do not hit, swear or threaten;
- choose not to endanger other species;
- help a human being escape human trafficking, prostitution or labor abuses;
- preserve things, do not broke them just for fun;
- share the food you do not eat with another lining being;
- refuse to hurt, torture or kill animals for fun;
- respect all creatures;
- think what you are told;
- be patient;
- criticize when needed;
- show compassion;
- try to understand;
- teach your children the above.
Add other things…