I received some disappointing news earlier today about something I had wanted very badly. It just so happened that a good friend of mine got the thing that I wanted. My first reaction was negative; I spouted off a rant on Facebook, growled a little at my desk, pouted and then took a walk around the block. At the end of my walk, a single word came to me: Ubuntu. Years ago, I read about this philosophy as it was explained by Archbishop 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, for he or she has 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.
In other words, I was being a jerk. There isn’t some well of blessings that is about to run dry. There are enough good things to go around, and it’s important that we allow people to have their moments and to praise their accomplishments. And, equally as important, when our dreams seem to be scattering into the wind, we need to remind ourselves that everything we hope for is still in our hands. Nothing is ever lost.
6 thoughts on “The Essence of Being Human”
Very inspiring words. I think what you are describing is a process of enlightenment. 🙂
I love your honesty. Thank you for passing this on to us.
Jolene, your writing about Ubuntu is incredibly beautiful and so darn timely. Thank you for writing this.
I’m rooting for you… all the way! Interestingly, very dear friends of mine sailed off on their boat 4 years ago, to raise their kids in a different environment. They sail from place to place in the Carribean and Bahamas. It’s been a great life for them, and the kids. Their boat is called Ubuntu. 😉
You carry an abundance of Ubuntu, Jolene. I’ve witnessed it many times!
I love your memoir. Good things are in store for it, as well as for those of our peers. Your turn is coming on a different day.