Desmond Tutu invoked ubuntu in his book, “No Future Without Forgiveness,” opening the world to an often overlooked philosophy of interconnection between all beings. Contrary to many Western cultures today, ubuntu insists that our humanity is “inextricably bound up” in each others’. Nelson Mandela spoke on this very philosophy, saying, “A traveller through a country would stop at a village and he didn’t have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food and attend him. That is one aspect of Ubuntu, but it will have various aspects. Ubuntu does not mean that people should not address themselves. The question therefore is: Are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to be able to improve.”
How are you bound up in your community, and how is your community bound up in you? What does it mean to you to be part of a greater whole? What actions can you take today to prioritize the wellbeing of the community over yourself?
Brianna Curran, Washington, DC