Ubuntu is an African term meaning “humanity.”
The philosophical concept behind the term is that there is a universal bond that connects all of humanity to each other. Simply put, Ubuntu means we are all one.
Desmond Tutu explained the concept in this way.
“Africans have a thing called Ubuntu. We believe that a person is a person through other persons. That my humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with yours. When I dehumanize you, I dehumanize myself. The solitary human being is a contradiction in terms. Therefore you seek to work for the common good because your humanity comes into its own in community, in belonging.” Desmond Tutu
The Ubuntu concept is that we each exist as an extension of one another. We are all innately connected through our being here on Earth at the same time.
When one person suffers, we all suffer. When one person rejoices, we all rejoice.
What a beautiful idea.
It makes me wonder what the world would look like if every person on the planet embraced the concept of Ubuntu?
What would we see if this oneness spread itself across the globe, through all races and religions?
Sadly, the current state of the world is anything but connected. Everywhere we turn we see disconnect There are wars being fought because we insist on division.
On a global scale, we insist on choosing righteousness over the connection to others. We insist on holding on to the pain of the past and using it to fuel the wars of the present.
Further to this global issue, on person to person level, we are not connecting either. Many of us are hiding our truth and avoiding the vulnerability of sharing ourselves with our fellow humans.
Concepts along the lines of “suffer in silence, don’t share your wins, don’t share your pain” all feed into the separation consciousness.
This is tragic because, at the deepest level, we all want to connect. Primally, we all want to love and we all want to feel accepted.
So how can we bring the concept of Ubuntu into our own lives?
Really all that is required to embrace the concept of Ubuntu is to unpack and dissolve the idea that we are separate from one another.
We need to remove the idea we are alone in this world, and that we have to fight to survive. We need to forget the teachings we have received that taught us one is better than another in terms of religion, race or social status, we need to learn to trust one another again.
Start at home, start by opening up to your friends and family. Build a community around yourself then allow others, no matter who they are to enter that community without judgement. Learn to lean on those around you at the same time as being a support to them.
This is Ubuntu.
Embracing it will change your life and the world around you too. Seems like a pretty good idea right?