Last night I was watching the show Vikings on the History channel, it is a great show, well done and historically accurate in the attitudes, costuming and general feel of the times. I am a history buff, anyone who knows me, knows that, I love reading, studying different time periods and seeing the evolution of humankind.
The sheer brutality of that time period is breathtaking, from the rugged terrain in which they had to survive to the brutal way they related to one another. It was survival of the fittest, to think that a lot of us would never have survived in that environment. Childhood illnesses that are quickly dealt with in this time period were fatal then, a while back Alex told me that he would never have survived childhood in the past. He is correct, he had many illnesses growing up, without modern medicine he would not be with us.
I look at how far we have come as a race, the sheer will to survive and grow in our technical knowledge, medical advances and our civility. I wonder how long it would take to throw us back into survivalist. I watch The Walking Dead and Revolution; both shows deal with catastrophic events within the human race. The programs show how very quickly that veneer of civility would become stripped away. How it would quickly become survival of the fittest, without the laws that man has imposed upon himself that comes with civilized society, we quickly go back to true human nature.
It is not true human nature to help one another out of the quagmire; it is true human nature to survive, at any cost. As civilizations have grown, humans have evolved into societies, we care for one another, we lift each other up, watch out for our neighbors. How quickly would that leave us if we had to forage for food, if we had to defend our homesteads? I like to think that we are not like the characters on television or in the movies that we have grown past our violent natures and would continue to watch out for one another.
I have high hopes for the human race, studying history as I have, we do seem to continue to grow as a civilization. However, there are pockets of humans that do not seem capable of growth, when I look at those societies the first thing I notice is the brutal terrain they live in. I seriously wonder if the physical environment is a factor in the way we grow as humans.
Here, in America, we have carved are surrounds to be what we want them to be, we have built cities, laws that ensure freedoms to all, innocent until proven guilty, on and on. I do wonder though, how long after the lights go out do we remain civil?