Ubuntu – I am, because we are
I am, because of you
Humanity to others
My humanity is bound to yours
One of the most touching TED Talks I’ve ever had the privilege of watching was presented in December, 2013 by Boyd Varty, a South African man and wildlife activist. The movement Boyd Varty is involved in has been called a psychology of restoration and the speech he gave at the Dec 2013 TED Talk was most certainly a restorative one in my opinion.
Here is where you can watch the video: Ubuntu Ted Talk
We discover our own human qualities through our interactions with other people.
A beautiful Ubuntu statement I read was: “How could any one person be happy if all others are sad?” (stated in many ways by many different sources…)
Ultimately the concept as a life philosophy is recognition of our dependence on one another for survival, happiness, and success in life. An author cannot succeed without an appreciative readership. A doctor cannot succeed without patients, nor can she become a doctor without the knowledge passed down from those who came before her. A construction worker cannot build every aspect of a condominium without a team of other skilled workers to work with. Our forests cannot survive to continue helping us all live on this planet without our appreciation, care, and protection. A manager without a team is not a manager at all. Most people do not rise to the top of their profession without some assistance from others, whether that be recommendations from friends, mentorship of some kind, or at the very least, assistance from various instructors and managers over time. A family that does not recognize their co-dependence upon one another will not thrive as a functional household.
With Ubuntu, you would never attempt to step on the heads of others in order to survive. You would instead recognize that you will thrive in partnership with the success of others. The philosophy of Ubuntu removes dominance of any one over another in terms of prioritizing the needs of one over another, but rather it is quite the opposite in fact. By fulfilling the needs of all, all win and succeed together.
There are many times in life and history when people who have been oppressed in one way or another have been willing to turn their backs on their fellows in order to work toward their own success, which they felt was so difficult to obtain and for which they felt they had to sacrifice greatly, often at the expense of others.
With the concept of Ubuntu in play, a greater amount of fulfillment can be achieved. Rather than getting fat off of the losses of others and experiencing the pure internal emptiness and personal sense of worthlessness such power struggles bring, the result of practicing Ubuntu is a better result for all where none starve and none sit alone with a huge banquet gone to waste on them as they spill their tears into their stylish bone china bowls.
Peace and success is very possible when living with Ubuntu at the forefront of your thoughts.