“Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones.

 “But no. Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, get to the river for a drink or hunt for food. You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.

 “A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts, Mead said.

 We are at our best when we serve others. Be civilized.

 – Ira Byock.”

Shared from a Facebook Post because it is yet another beautiful and telling description of how Johnnie Bakkum lived her life to serve others and model civility. How many times—whether physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually—did Johnnie stay with the one who fell, bind up the wound, carry the person to safety and tend the person through recovery?

Thank you, God, for blessing our congregation with Johnnie Bakkum.  May we pass along her good works and caring spirit to those with whom we interact each day.   In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Johnnie Bakkum, left, with Mary Hubbs before Johnnie moved to Beaufort, S.C., to be near her daughter Catherine. Johnnie’s other children are Caren, Carlton and Leila.