The first time I heard the term Ubuntu was on an NPR Ted Radio Hour show. They were interviewing Boyd Varty who grew up on a game reserve in Africa and talked about how he observed a herd of elephants year after year. One of the elephants, who they named Elvis because he had something wrong with his back legs and his hips would sway back and forth. He observed how the herd would take care of Elvis year after year. Whether it was going behind him to push him up a hill or leaving things on the ground he could reach to eat. Ubuntu basically means a belief in humanity – I am because of you. It is a sharing in all humanity through joy, achievements, collaboration, community, we can all help each other. Ubuntu asks us to share. We are all a part of this big, beautiful planet and should each have a sense of belonging and community. We need to be there for each other to share, have compassion with whatever arises. There is an elegance in nature that we certainly can learn from if we choose to. There is a harmony and a sense of being part of something bigger than our own self-centered selves. Living in deep acceptance of how things are and spending time and thought in Gratitude. Filling ourselves with joy and not ruminating about the past or worrying about the future but being present in what is.
“A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole…..”
How are you creating community? Do you bring Ubuntu into your life? The magic of Ubuntu can be learned by slowing down and observing the natural world around us. Listen to Boyd Varty’s Ted Talk here: