Ubuntu was a concept used in the 1990s as a guiding ideal for our country during the transition between apartheid to majority rule. During the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, Desmond Tutu wisely said: ‘You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality — Ubuntu — you are known for your generosity.’
Ubuntu is an incredible community-based term, and one that can be used in all aspects of our lives.
Ubuntu calls us to ditch the me-focused “I think, therefore I am” Western philosophy and embrace the African philosophy “I am what I am, because of who we all are”.
Ubuntu speaks of our humanity and connectedness and recognizes that our own wellbeing is deeply tied to the wellbeing of others. This requires a massive shift of mindset.
When a family has Ubuntu, decisions are made for the good of all; responsibilities and resources are shared. Children are asked to wash dishes or feed the dogs, and both parents are seen cooking and cleaning the pool. Chores are shared for the good of the household, not as role-defying moments.
At work, Ubuntu is expressed by teamwork, operating in a cooperative and collaborative environment, with individual members contributing their best efforts for the betterment of the entire group. Individualism is thrown out of the window and a sense of pride for projects and the company as whole is expressed.
When a Community has Ubuntu it would live in a way that supports and furthers everyone. Aliens and visitors are welcome. Strangers find help.
Society is managed for the good of all and not just for the few. An ubuntu family is a community where everyone has intrinsic value and is honored for who they are.
For you to have an Ubuntu spirit, you’d be open and available to others, affirming, and not feel threatened by others. It sounds like perfection, right!
But, honestly, can you imagine the power of a society, of a business, of a family, that possesses this spirit of oneness and unity? It would change the world we live in!
Come on! Let’s do it. Let’s turn the “me” into “we”. Together we can!