Ubuntu, The Software that Powers Our Humanity…
Our interconnected-ness is inevitable. Our humanity is shared. Our essence and being and values are universal. We belong to the human race, the human family. One blood, same dreams and aspirations unite us.
So why the hypocrisy of difference. Why the fallacies and misconceptions of us versus them. Why the labelling and uncalled for self righteous I’m better than you or you are different than me animosity? Yes we are individually unique, but collectively the same, United by the universality of Ubuntu, The thread of our common humanity. The Software that powers our shared human existence.
So what exactly characterizes our humanity, the essence of Ubuntu.
Love and Generosity
Before anything we are first and foremost human. As human within us is in born the capacity to love, serve and give. The human spirit at its best is embalmed by generosity, Kindness and love for another. Love and kindness are the true embodiment of Ubuntu the treasure of our humanity.
Family and community
We are born into families and communities. We learn values, norms and traditions here. We are shaped and prepared for the world here. Our humanity is inculcated through our cultures, traditions, schooling and practices. Family and community is the workshop for Ubuntu. We learn how to behave misbehave in this all important workshop that has a great bearing on our well being and future. There is a famous African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child”. We are all responsible for the shaping of our humanity.
Friendship and comradeship
We socialize, collaborate and assimilate others from other kith and kin. We build relationships and learn how to connect and get along with others from other families, neighbourhoods and thinking. It’s the power of our humanity at work. This distinguishes us from animals. We can think and associate freely with others from similar and dissimilar backgrounds.
Indeed we may not choose our family but we can choose our friends and colleagues. This is part of our ability to determine our individual destiny’s.
Settlement and migration
Humanity is nomadic by nature, has been and always will be in search of opportunity, greener pastures, the human instinct to survive.
It is puzzling therefore for anyone in this day and age to label another ‘foreign’ or foreigner. The truth is we are all from somewhere and in due time we will move to another place whether a village, a township, a city another country or continent. Yes immigration laws and regulations may be enforced but this reality will never change. We are born to roam the earth beyond boundaries and jurisdictions wherever human kind can thrive or survive. Movement and Settlement are a core part of our humanity.
Dreams and aspirations
I know not of any human who wishes bad for themselves, their family or their offspring. It is universally true that our dreams and aspirations bear the same DNA. We always seek, and desire good things for ourselves regardless of background, social level or skin colour. Each one of us wants good, better, or more in their human experience. Just imagine how better our humanity would be if we always remembered this common ingredient of Ubuntu. If you remembered that the man/ woman or child in the poor neighborhood has dreams too! We would treat each other more fairly and dispense justice even better. Dreams and aspirations are the vehicles of self determination steering us to our place of destiny and purpose. They are an inalienable God given right that mark our significance and impact in this life before our time is up and exit.
Life, death and tragedy
We have rituals at birth that honour our arrival and rituals at death that mark our exit from this existence. We laugh and cry in between United by the celebrations and tragedies of life and our humanity is never more equal in this moments. It’s always an amazing witness of Ubuntu to see the human family rally together in the face of adversity more so in death. Our human emotions are universal – sadness is sadness regardless of your gender, race or nationality. We cry together in tragedy and we sing and dance in celebration. This is Ubuntu at work, the fiber of our common humanity.