Do you have ubuntu?

March 27, 2009

I have been reading Jim Wallis’ latest book, “The Great Awakening” and came across a wonderful quote from Desmond Tutu, the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa:

“Ubuntu is a concept that we have in our Bantu languages at home. Ubuntu is the essence of being a person. It means that we are people through other people. We cannot be fully human alone. We are made for interdependence, we are made for family. When you have ubuntu, you embrace others. You are generous, compassionate. If the world had more ubuntu, we would not have war. We would not have this huge gap between the rich and the poor. You are rich so that you can make up what is lacking for others. You are powerful so that you can help the weak, just as a mother or father helps their children. This is God’s dream.

It embraces hospitality, caring about others, being able to go the extra mile for the sake of others. We believe that a person is a person through another person, that my humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with yours. When I dehumanise you, I inexorably dehumanise myself. The solitary human being is a contradiction in terms and therefore you seek to work for the common good because your humanity comes into its own in belonging.”

I don’t want to add any more to that – it’s just brilliant!

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5 Responses to “Do you have ubuntu?”

  1. Mark said

    when i read this, it make me this of the O/S – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu

    i like the quote though. good stuff

  2. Andrew Noble said

    I wondered how many of the geeks out there would make that comment 😉

  3. Mark said

    hehe. and came across this today.

  4. Arthur said

    Hi Andrew, I found you through Adelaide Christian Scene. Good to find (yet) another brother thinking through church and mission. I’m keen to hear what you’ve got to say as someone from the house-church end of the spectrum. Cheers!

  5. Alexander Anderson said

    Something so obvious should be known by all. Yet knowledge such as this is scarce.

    Great work Sue, keep up the posts

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