Yesterday I was making some notes on personal integrity and how it relates to our dealings with others. Then I remembered a passage that I had come across and saved last year which expresses exactly what I wished far more eloquently than my words.

"Africans have this thing called Ubuntu. It is about the essence of being human. It embraces hospitality, caring about others, being able to go the extra mile for the sake of others. I am human because I belong. It speaks about wholeness, it speaks about compassion. We believe that a person is a person through another person; we affirm our humanity when we acknowledge that of others. My humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably with yours. 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 to a greater whole. When I dehumanize you, I inexorably dehumanize myself. The solitary human being is a contradiction in terms and therefore you seek to work for the common good because your humanity comes into its own in belonging. The quality of Ubuntu gives people resiliance, enabling them to survive and emerge human despite all efforts to dehumanize them."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu


Anonymous said...

Thoughtful and interesting.
Beautifully written.
I would that more people had Ubuntu.
What interests me is that people do not love you for your talents.......rather for your interconectedness with them.
We like people when they like us.
Probably one of the worst feelings is being very alone.

Anonymous said...

Love this! Ubuntu - what a beautiful word and sentiment!

Recent Reading History

  • Solar - Ian McEwen
  • New York - The Novel: Edward Rutherfurd
  • The God Delusion - Dawkins

Blog Archive