'I am what I am because of who we all are"
Ubuntu |oǒ'boǒntoō| is an ethic or humanist philosophy focusing on people's relations with each other. A person with an Ubuntu philosophy is open to others, affirming to others, does not feel threatened by others because they know they are part of the greater good for humanity.
I believe in the sacredness of being connected to all living things. Humans need interaction and a human cannot live in isolation. Everyone's actions, positive or negative, affects everyone and thing. Although we like to think we are alone in this individualistic society, we are not. We are in this together, so when someone does good the generosity spreads out as a whole. A positive for everyone.
In 2006, Nelson Mandela gives us his explanation of the African spiritual ethic, Ubuntu, in an interview with South African journalist, Tim Modise:
"A traveller through a country would stop at a village and he didn't have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him. That is one aspect of Ubuntu, but it will have various aspects. Ubuntu does not mean that people should not enrich themselves. The question therefore is: Are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to be able to improve?"
Mandela found that the power of Ubuntu, the inner core of every person‘s humanity, could move mountains.
This was an enlightening read. It definitely brought clarity to characteristics of my Nana and Papa. As a child, I often witnessed them feeding, supporting, nurturing the children, provide spiritual support for the community, etc. Nana was a homemaker and the neighbor babysitter. My Papa was a farmer and a Reverend. It’s funny, that even though neither possessed higher education, Unbuntu came naturally. I must admit, I too have inherited Unbuntu in my community and with all those I encounter. Excellent article.
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