According to St. Exupery, "A civilization is a heritage of beliefs, customs, and knowledge slowly accumulated in the course of centuries, elements difficult at times to justify by logic, but justifying themselves as paths when they lead somewhere, since they open up for man his inner distance."
Thus, one might say that civilizations are meant to ensure the communication between past and present-time generations, so that we can understand our ancestors, their view on life, their culture and interests, and where they wanted to go (mostly from a spiritual point of view).
Here's what this great author said in his famous book, "The Little Prince": "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye."
With all the civilization of the modern man, according to Saint-Exupery, at least, man is unable to see the truth with his own eyes, unable to differentiate between significant things and things which only catch our eyes, but are irrelevant. Again, this implies having a spiritual perspective on reality, perceiving beyond what can be seen or explained.
Another thing concerning human perception on the outside world refers to the responsibility each one of us actually has for his own spiritual situation, for his very own soul and the obsession with "The meaning of life": "Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: it is something molded."
Therefore, it is not something we can discover all of a sudden, without any effort. It takes time and struggle to achieve spiritual guidance and performance. Also, if we merely expect to receive great answers from others, and do not get involved in the search process ourselves, our convictions are likely to be merely superficial and more or less random.
Saint-Exupery refers to the same idea of understanding the process of becoming yourself when he says that "A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born." The things we go through can awaken something we didn't know we possessed in ourselves.
Although Exupery generally refers to the good and positive things, that influence us to become better persons, we have to learn to discern between what is actually good and what is not for our spiritual development. We are responsible for this, there is no one to actually blame if things go wrong.
We need to learn to assume responsibility for our actions and for who we are becoming each day. If we understand this responsibility of ours, we are less likely to judge others.
We could thus, avoid falling into the common mistake of offending others by such attitude: "I have no right, by anything I do or say, to demean a human being in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him; it is what he thinks of himself. To undermine a man's self-respect is a sin."
And of course, one sign that we are on the right path is the way we relate to others, if we show them respect, understanding, charity.
"Charity never humiliated him who profited from it, nor ever bound him by the chains of gratitude, since it was not to him but to God that the gift was made." We need to understand that the Charity was never meant to hurt someone.
Indeed, our material possessions mean very little compared to our spiritual gains: "How could there be any question of acquiring or possessing, when the one thing needful for a man is to become - to be at last, and to die in the fullness of his being." Spiritual riches do not pass, they last forever, and they can even be transmitted to future generations.