Ubuntu is “Nguni Bantu term meaning “humanity.” It is sometimes translated as “I am because we are” or “humanity towards others.” It is often meant in a more philosophical sense to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.” Wikipedia. About six months ago when watching the Netflix documentary “The Playbook” I heard this term for the first time when basketball coach Doc Rivers talked about it.
“Bringing people together is what I call ‘Ubuntu’ which means “I am because we are.” Far too often people think of themselves just as individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.” Desmond Tutu
As I listened to Doc Rivers and his ubuntu way of coaching, this resonated with me on a deep level. We feel connections and are connected to people we have no personal relationship with. When you watch the Olympics, seeing the amazing wins and devastating loses by someone you have never met, you feel it. Or you hear about a person being rescued by a group of people, knowing none of them, we have a reaction. Natural disasters and horrific events affect us. We hurt when others hurt. We celebrate when others celebrate. Sometimes without having a personal relationship with anyone involved. Ubuntu.
“Ubuntu is about a community coming together to help one another.” Paul Pierce
I do my best to be support others. Celebrating other’s achieving high school diplomas, getting jobs, birthdays, weddings, babies, and more. Providing comfort and care after devastating tragedies, deaths of loved ones, breakups, breakdowns, and life not happening the way you thought it would. I have experienced the most beautiful joys and the depths of sorrow. People have been there for me for the good and the bad. I know you have helped too. Your support when others are struggling, and cheerleader for victories, have made a difference in the life of others. Others being there for you have made a difference in your life. Last week when volunteering to collect items to send to help people in Ukraine the people who came to donate items did not know anyone in Ukraine. They just knew there is a need and they wanted to help.Ubuntu
“We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, where you are connected and what you do affects the whole world.” Desmond Tutu
Think of it this way. Our actions are like Newton’s Law third law as they have a similar and opposite reaction. My actions will send ripples out to the world. If I do not brush my teeth and I am interacting with others those people will not be enjoying my unpleasant smelling breath. A pleasant hello and smile from a stranger always feels nice. What we do, and how we do it, creates some sort of reaction with others. Ubuntu.
“It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s about ‘We’ working together as one.” Unknown
Remarkable person you are the only you that will ever be. Your words and actions affect those around you, which affect people around them, which affect people around those people and just keep going. People are there for you, just as you are there for them. Some you may never meet, yet they are cheering you on. People are rooting for you with love, compassion, and belief in you. Just as you feel pain and joy for others, other people feel pain and joy for you. In our humanness we are all connected. The more we are there for each other the better we all will be.
May your ubuntu be with you💜