I though about this theory quite alot, bear with me here. Ubuntu is a primarily African philosophy of being generous-as a human, as a being…as my understanding goes. Which something I wish we could emphasize more in this world. I hate that we are such careless beings who think of oneself majority of the time and having material things which in essence are worth nothing really.
So, quoting from the ohso reliable Wikipedia, here’s a more in depth explanation of Ubuntu:
“…is an African ethic or humanist philosophy focusing on people’s allegiances and relations with each other. Some believe that ubuntu is a classical African philosophy or worldview whereas others point out that as far as written sources are concerned, the idea that ubuntu is a philosophy or worldview has only been developed in recent years. The word ubuntu has its origins in the Bantu languages of southern Africa.”
This definition was the most intriguing:
“Ubuntu: “I am what I am because of who we all are.” (From a definition offered by Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee.)”
We are all connected as beings, spirits, it’s explained in Buddhism. I was once a cloud, a roach, a deer, a leaf, a being, we’re all connected we’re all made up of similar things.
“A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed…
One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just 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…
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, entertain him. That is one aspect of Ubuntu, but it will have various aspects. Ubuntu does not mean that people should not enrich themselves. The question therefore is: Are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to be able to improve?…
Ubuntu is recognised as being an important source of law within the context of strained or broken relationships amongst individuals or communities and as an aid for providing remedies which contribute towards more mutually acceptable remedies for the parties in such cases. Ubuntu is a concept which:
is to be contrasted with vengeance;
dictates that a high value be placed on the life of a human being;
is inextricably linked to the values of and which places a high premium on dignity, compassion, humaneness and respect for humanity of another;
dictates a shift from confrontation to mediation and conciliation;
dictates good attitudes and shared concern;
favours the re-establishment of harmony in the relationship between parties and that such harmony should restore the dignity of the plaintiff without ruining the defendant;
favours restorative rather than retributive justice;
operates in a direction favouring reconciliation rather than estrangement of disputants;
works towards sensitising a disputant or a defendant in litigation to the hurtful impact of his actions to the other party and towards changing such conduct rather than merely punishing the disputant;
promotes mutual understanding rather than punishment;
favours face-to-face encounters of disputants with a view to facilitating differences being resolved rather than conflict and victory for the most powerful;
favours civility and civilised dialogue premised on mutual tolerance.”
There were times when if a person were travelling they could stop a strangers house and ask for bread, a place to sleep if it were possible and they would be treated as a stranger…notice the change that time has given us? We don’t even acknowledge each other on the street, we walk past thousands of different people daily without the consideration of them being here, or the simple acknowledgment of being.
Why. Why don’t we care?