I am happy, if you are: The concept of Ubuntu

Big Sur, California 9 July 2020 (photo credit: Janet Barnes)

One of my favourite African concepts has always been the concept of UBUNTU since I came across it in the late 90s. I have always tried my best to live by this concept and it is my belief that if everyone lived by it, the world would be a better place. So, today, I came across this post on a friend's Facebook wall and I thought to share again here.

A Surprising Lesson on Happiness From an African Tribe:-:

Let me tell you a story…

There was an anthropologist who had been studying the habits and culture of a remote African tribe.

He had been working in the village for quite some time and the day before he was to return home, he put together a gift basket filled with delicious fruits from around the region and wrapped it in a ribbon. He placed the basket under a tree and then he gathered up the children in the village.

The man drew a line in the dirt, looked at the children, and said, “When I tell you to start, run to the tree and whoever gets there first will win the basket of the fruit.”

When he told them to run, they all took each other’s hands and ran together to the tree. Then they sat together around the basket and enjoyed their treat as a group.

The anthropologist was shocked. He asked why they would all go together when one of them could have won all the fruits for themselves?

A young girl looked up at him and said, “How can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?”

Years later, the well known South African activist Desmond Tutu would describe the little girl's thought process by using the word ubuntu, which means “I am because we are.”

Here’s how Tutu explained the concept:

"Africans have a thing called ubuntu. We believe that a person is a person through other persons. That my humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with yours. When I dehumanize you, I dehumanize myself. The solitary human being is a contradiction in terms. Therefore you seek to work for the common good because your humanity comes into its own in community, in belonging.”

Happiness comes from combining what we love to do with something that is meaningful.  We believe in abundance and we work hard to make life great for everyone.  We believe that we are here to make the world a better place.

Remember: One for all and all for on


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