Thursday, June 23, 2011


I was recently introduced to the concepts of Donald Brown's book, "Human Universals." He is an anthropologist who after a study of cultures historic and modern, globally, and at various stages of technological advance, published over 200 human traits which he found among them all.

I found it facinating that these five fears were found in all cultures, in this order:

  1. Death (one's own, or that of another)
  2. Outsiders
  3. Chaos
  4. The future
  5. Not leaving a mark  (his words... I like the word "Insignificance" to describe this fear)
I find all of these present in my life.  And it seems that with these in mind the actions of the individuals around me, as well as many of our cultural and governmental systems and structures make a lot more sense.