this i believe - Ubuntu

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My life and the way I live it can be explained in one word; Ubuntu, meaning "I am what I am because of who we all are". Ubuntu is a phrase that originated long ago in South Africa with the native Zulus. It's not just a saying but, it is a way of life.


Ubuntu is used in my relationships with family in many ways. One of which is, I depend on my family to raise me to be a person who contributes to society. Some members of my family, mostly the younger ones, depend on me to help raise them too. As a family we depend on each other to be forgiving. I need to be able to confide in my family and trust that they will do their best to help me as I am expected to do my best for them. This is how Ubuntu is used in my everyday interactions with family.


My motto isn't limited to family; it is also found in the way we treat others. "If I diminish you, I diminish myself" says Archbishop Desmond Tutu in his book “Believe”. Through Ubuntu I am encouraged to lift up my community because they will then lift me up. On Black Friday this year a woman stood in front of a T.V. that she wanted and sprayed people with pepper spray to keep them away from it. She had no Ubuntu; if she did she would have considered the pain of those people as her own. Treating others with respect and kindness is the main reason why Ubuntu is so important to me.


Ubuntu is also something I keep in mind in church. My church is much like my family. They raise me and without them I wouldn’t be who I am today. However, most of us don’t realize Ubuntu is very important in Christian life. Ubuntu helps us to treat others the way we want to be treated; to be teachable and not stubborn when it comes to learning from others, etc. Ubuntu helps me as a Christian to view the world as God would. Whether we know the person or not they also have problems and go through pain. Ubuntu helps me to excel in my faith and makes it easier to love others as Jesus loved.


So, the word Ubuntu is complicated at times but keep this in mind, in Ubuntu we are considered one family. A true family has no enemies, hatred or murder. I believe that as one family we should have love and empathy for one another. I think that if everyone embraced Ubuntu, the fact that no one person can stand alone and still be called human, there would be no war, injustice, no criminals, racism or ‘haters’. In the end we must all accept that we are bound together and were meant to live amongst others. I hope that, as Archbishop Tutu says, “…we will live together as members of one family, the human family.”





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