Sunday, December 28, 2008

Two books one word: Ubuntu

Image found @ Rantings of a Creole Princess

I've completed to excellent and very different books in the last week. One is 'Speaking of Faith' by Krista Tippett and the other (which I started and finished on Sunday) is 'I'm proud of you' by Tim Madigan.

I first came across the word: ubuntu in Tippet's book where she explains it from South African friends perspective as suggesting "HUMANITY: Ubuntu says - I am through you and you are through me. To the extent that I'm estranged from another person, I am less than human." ( Tippet pg 182).

In Madigan's book, he defines Ubuntu as: "I am because we are... my identity is such that it includes you. I would be a very different person without you." (Madigan, pg 7)

There is the idea of "No man or woman is an island.", in the philosophy of ubuntu - but there is more going on with the word than saying we are not solitary. Ubuntu reflects the balance of relationships within community, along with all the challenges that come along with them.

Both of these books have a great deal in common in the fact that they are expressions of how people relate to each other, as well as pushing beyond people's relational limitations or boundaries.

I'm so amazed when in reading a book and feel the book has choosen me. It's even better when a word like Ubuntu unexpectedly pops into my life through more than one source. Usually, that means there is something I sincerely need to learn from it's idea or a challenge that I need to stand and face.

My understanding so far of Ubuntu is a great reminder that in life we all need each other. In my hurry to get a job done, sometimes I plow through on my own in order to reach my goal. In the perspective of ubuntu, flying solo won't cut it. There is a suggested feeling from the word that although life and work may not faster in a team, we all are more human when we work together.

Ubuntu means: humanity, connections, partnership, and relationship. Ubuntu needs to be a way of life - my life and yours.

For more on the concept of ubuntu from Nelson Mandela, watch this video:

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1 comment:

Ted and Sarah Voigt said...

Hi! I added your blog to my reading list a while back and I´ve ejoyed your december of posting! I was especially interested in this post because "Ubuntu" as I know it is actually a linux-based operating system which I use occasionally, and so I thought your post was going to be about computers. HOWEVER, it was very interesting to learn the words real meaning! Thank you!