The tenuous existence led by our human ancestors in the distant past placed a premium on the values of cooperation, responsibility and communal living. After all, in these days before the rise of civilizations, small groups of people were isolated from one another and had no one to rely upon for survival except themselves. All food, clothing, shelter and other necessities had to be produced by the group in a cooperative effort that would help assure survival. No supermarkets to buy food at. No malls to go shopping in for clothing. No general contractors to build you a home. All had to be done by the individual and the group in cooperation and with as much harmony as could be generated.
Even in the face of these overwhelming demands on the need for cooperation in order to help assure survival, human nature revealed its negative side. Some individuals, though members of the group, refused to do what was necessary to contribute their fair share to the effort to survive. They may have been thieves, gossips, lazy or in other ways untrustworthy. They were a threat to the survival of the group, using valuable resources but contributing little, if anything, to group security and survival.
|"Nothing to do, and|
all day to do it in."
Outsiders were looked upon as enemies and were rarely accepted as members of another group. Death was the most likely result of being cast out of the group.
|25% of working age Americans |
were "fired" or unemployed in 1932.
And don’t forget that cooperation was the quality that often determined whether or not groups of early colonists survived, Jamestown being a prime example of this concept. It was there that Captain John Smith uttered his famous order that helped save the colony from imminent failure, "Work, or starve!"
|Captain John Smith,|
"Work, or starve!"
|Satan being "thrown out" of Heaven.|
An illustration from Milton's "Paradise Lost."
He was "fired" as an archangel.
"Better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven."
Let's end with a short clip from Donald Trump's reality TV show "The Apprentice."
You know what's coming, what he is going to say. Here it is:
So there you have it. Two versions of a word origin. Take your pick. Or, seek out your own story!