Friday, February 16, 2018

The Meaning of Ubuntu


The Xhosa people are a Bantu ethnic group. Well before the arrival of Dutch in the 1650s, the Xhosa had settled the southeastern area of South Africa. According to one oral tradition, the first person on Earth was a great leader called Xhosa.
It is the Xhosa who brought to the world the profound and guiding philosophy of Ubuntu that we all now strive to embrace.
Ubuntu can best be expressed by this story:
The philosophy of Ubuntu explains, we cannot be human on our ownWe are human through relationships. Ubuntu essentially means“my humanity is inextricably bound up in yours.”

"There was an anthropologist who had been studying the habits and culture of a remote South African tribe.

He had been working in the village for quite some time and the day before he was to return home, he put together a gift basket filled with delicious fruits from around the region and wrapped it in a ribbon. He placed the basket under a tree and then he gathered up the children in the village.
The man drew a line in the dirt, looked at the children, and said, “When I tell you to start, run to the tree and whoever gets there first will win the basket of the fruit.”
When he told them to run, they all took each other’s hands and ran together to the tree. Then they sat together around the basket and enjoyed their treat as a group.
The anthropologist was shocked. He asked why they would all go together when one of them could have won all the fruits for themselves?
A young girl looked up at him and said, “How can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?” 

Ubuntu affirms that we are made for this delicate network of interdependence. 

It says, “I need you in order to be me.”

“I am who I am because of who we all are.”

~The meaning of Ubuntu.