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Ubuntu: I Am Because We Are

I saw this message about Ubuntu on Twitter and thought about how powerful this is. This message goes beyond the team concept, beyond working together. It is about humanity, respect for others, and an overall appreciation of life as it should be.

The Xhosa are located in South Africa. Data shows that in 1995 there were more than 17.5 million Xhosa. This shows that Ubuntu is culture, learned from birth, expected in daily life, the norm. Xhosa traditionally show respect and good intentions to others.

The phrase with the picture reads: “An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that who ever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: ‘UBUNTU, how can cone of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?” “UBUNTU” in the Xhosa culture means: I am because we are.”

When looking at the web about Ubuntu, some of the following can be found:

  • no person can be truly full while his neighbor remains hungry
  • a world-view that sees humanity as a web of family, rather than a mass of individuals
  • a person is a person through other people
  • we are all related, interdependent and connected to each other
  • kind-ness and human-ity = human-ness
  • a belief in a universal bond of sharing that unites all of humanity
  • Giving without receiving or expecting anything in return is extremely uplifting
  • Humanity is a quality we owe to each other

The concept is simple. The way of life is simple. It is what it is. Because it ‘is’ from the start, it ‘is’ until the end. Culture that continues, life that is of value. Ubuntu.

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