“I am a person through other people. My humanity is tied to yours.” -Zulu Proverb
Ubuntu is a big spiritual aspect and some say, is the spiritual foundation of South African society. It encompasses a belief in a universal bond of sharing and respect that connects all of humanity. It is also a founding story for City Year. Everyone in City Year learns about the concept of Ubuntu at least once during their year of service. One of the biggest parts that I take from the idea of Ubuntu is that a person cannot be complete if others do not enjoy what it means to be human to the fullest extent. I can’t sit back and feel happy and satisfied about my life when I see that others aren’t given the opportunity to feel a fraction of what I do.
Lately, since joining City Year, I find it harder and harder to ignore injustices and unfair practices in the world. I try to balance it out the best way I can by doing my best to just see people as people. I treat everyone the same or as close to that as possible when it comes to common courtesy. My sister is just as much of a human being as a stranger asking me for the time of day. Seeing everyone as connected would really make the world go round a bit smoother.
City Year actually says that, “We can put the spirit of Ubuntu- respect, human dignity, compassion, and community- to work in our daily lives through our interactions with others, from greeting others as we pass them in hallways or on the street, to ensuring that all segments of society are included in social welfare policies so that each person has the means to lead a life of dignity. Ubuntu has the power to help us build an inclusive, respectful, and vibrant community, nation and world.”
I couldn’t agree more.
My goal with writing this is the share one of my favorite things I’ve taken away from this year of service with City Year. Also, I want to inspire and challenge others to take on the concept and really believe in Ubuntu. As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Let’s be those thoughtful committed citizens and make that change happen.
Thanks for checkin’ this out,