…from Africa, a word meaning one-another-ness, interconnectedness, joined-in-the-common-good-ness, and profound commitment to the well-being of all.
“Ubuntu ngumtu ngabanye abantu” (“A person is a person through other people”)
“I want you to be all you can be so that I can be all that I can be. I need you to be you so that I can be me.”
Does the party for which you will vote tomorrow exhibit Ubuntu? Does either of them? Will your slate of candidates look out for the common good or be focused on wielding power to insure the opposite: the preservation of individual power, rights, property, and entitlement?
After the election, exactly half of the US population is going to be grievously dissatisfied with the outcome.Â Will we continue to self-destruct or can we negotiate across the aisle with an genuine attitude of Ubuntu? Don’t we owe this to our children’s children? Should they forgive us if we fail?
The South African Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes Ubuntu this way:
“It is the essence of being human. It speaks of the fact that my humanity is caught up and is inextricably bound up in yours. I am human because I belong. It speaks about wholeness, it speaks about compassion. A person with Ubuntu is welcoming, hospitable, warm and generous, willing to share.
Such people are open and available to others, willing to be vulnerable, affirming of others, do not feel threatened that others are able and good, for they have a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that they belong in a greater whole.
They know that they are diminished when others are humiliated, diminished when others are oppressed, diminished when others are treated as if they were less than who they are. The quality of Ubuntu gives people resilience, enabling them to survive and emerge still human despite all efforts to dehumanize them.”