Ubuntu is an ancient African tribal word meaning human-ness; human kindness; humanity toward others; “I am what I am because of who we all are.” Ubuntu is our “interconnectedness.” Its the glue that holds us all together.
Ubuntu has evolved as a kind of philosophy…a way of life embracing “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.”
Ubuntu was introduced to the West by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, President Bill Clinton. Ubuntu has implications for interfaith approaches to spirituality, ecospirituality tolerance, peace and environmental stewardship.
“My humanity is inextricably bound up in yours… We belong in a bundle of life.” (Desmond Tutu)
“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/she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.” (Desmond Tutu)
“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.” (Desmond Tutu)
“So Ubuntu — for us it means that the world is too small, our wisdom too limited, our time here too short, to waste any more of it in winning fleeting victories at other people’s expense. We have to now find a way to triumph together.” (Bill Clinton)