Could Humanity Learn from South Africa’s “Ubuntu” Philosophy?

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How Can Humanity Learn from Ubuntu?

The philosophy of Ubuntu is definitely something that humanity worldwide can learn from and adopt. Ubuntu can be seen and felt in through willing participation, cooperation, warmness, openness and by demonstrating personal dignity to others.

ubuntu

In a world where people can be painfully unkind, it is always encouraging to see how people are taking care of each other and helping one another. There are many ways that countries as a whole are showing Ubuntu to others that you may not even be aware of. The top ten most generous countries according to the World Giving Index are as follows:

  1. Pakistan
  2. China
  3. New Zealand
  4. Canada
  5. Australia
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Netherlands
  8. Sri Lanka
  9. Ireland
  10. Malaysia

They asked individuals globally a series of questions such as did they help a stranger or someone they didn’t know who needed help, did they donate money to a charity and would they volunteer their time to an organisation.

Very often, Ubuntu is as simple as this. It is a mere paying for a stranger’s lunch bill to be generous, it is helping an old lady carry her grocery bags, it is helping a lost child find his parents in the supermarket, it is taking care of animals, it is letting a stranger fall asleep on your shoulder on the bus ride home after a long day of work, it is helping the person at the till in front of you who is a few dollars short, it is volunteering to help people in need, it is clothing and feeding the poor and it is standing up against those who try to bring vulnerable individuals down.

Here’s a story that may inspire you;

Driving home in a blizzard, I noticed a vehicle trailing close behind me. Suddenly, my tire blew! I pulled off the road, and so did the other car. A man jumped out from behind the wheel and without hesitation changed the flat. “I was going to get off two miles back,” he said. “But I didn’t think that tire looked good.”

Almost every religion and civilisation has some form of the phrase “do unto others as you would have them do to you”.

  • Ancient Egypt – “Now this is the command: Do to the doer to make him do.”
  • Ancient China – “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.”
  • Ancient India – “Hence, (keeping these in mind), by self-control and by making dharma (right conduct) your main focus, treat others as you treat yourself.”
  • Ancient Greece – “Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing.”
  • Ancient Rome – “Treat your inferior as you would wish your superior to treat you.”

african kids

Ubuntu is something that is taught to us in some form, no matter where we are in the world. It is something that we are already subconsciously doing, but something that we should become more aware of to become better at doing it.

You might have much of the world’s riches, and you might hold a portion of authority, but if you have no ubuntu, you do not amount to much. — Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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Comments

  1. Ubuntu is the ticket out of this mess. ALL OF US COLLABORATING TOGETHER. One humanity, one goal, one vision held together. WE don’t need money!

  2. Ubuntu can be used as a solution for out of this mess. With its goal for one humanity and visions there is a possibility that you will no longer need aid from other foreign countries.

  3. Hi, Thank you for educating me on this special and beautiful country, I really wish to visit there. And hopefully “Ubuntu” will be adopted by all humanity!

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