There’s a sort of grandeur associated with being older than dirt. Take ancient Rome for example. Have you ever noticed that when people speak of it, they tend to get a soft look in their eyes? Never mind the fact that the Romans lived in a society where slavery was not only common, it was a status symbol among the wealthy. Nor should you worry about the atrocities committed toward prisoners and slaves in the grand Coliseum and other gladiator arenas. And certainly don’t remember the fact that doctors had no anesthesia so their patients were awake and alert during any and all operations. Little details like those are neatly glossed over in favor of nostalgic memories of Roman art, architecture and engineering advancement like aqueducts.

 

The Romans probably thought their lives just as humdrum as we do now. Even though today we have such little conveniences as electricity, automobiles, the gift of flight and movie magic, we still look fondly upon Rome and the other “ancient wonders.” The moral of this story? Cover a corpse or a brick up with enough dust-gathering time and it will start resembling a treasure.

On the flipside though, with America’s high rate of crime, drug abuse, and extra-marital sex and pregnancy, maybe we should start looking at other older societies’ strengths to help improve our own weaknesses. Funny that few people get moist eyes over the Puritans.