Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ubuntu - the Essence of Being Human

I have spoken some about my connection with my community and how it is essential to my existence. This is fairly evident just by the title of this blog and it is more clear everyday that I need my community to survive and even more so to thrive.  I believe that for people to be successful they need other people supporting and lifting them up.  This is where my community has come into place.

South Africans believe in a concept called Ubuntu, that focuses on people's relationships and allegiances to one another.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu explains Ubuntu as follows:
"One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can't exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can't be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity."
In this video he explains it further to a group of students on the Spring 2007 Semester at Sea voyage:

Isn't that such a great concept, wouldn't the world be a better place, a more peaceful place if everyone connected with this philosophy.   What if we always approached any new person we meet with eyes open to this concept.   I believe that I possess Ubuntu and have chosen to surround myself with others who also possess this amazing quality.  I know that I can not exist in isolation, I know that I am interconnected to all human beings.  The quote says that when you do well, it spreads out.  I believe the contrary to be true as well; when we do harm that also spreads out.  To me that means that our actions can always affect those around us and like ripples in water affect beyond to all living things.

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