Me We

People Need People

     I was browsing my local bookstore when I suddenly came across something intriguing. Within the book, The words and inspiration of Martin Luther King, Jr., Dream, by Desmond Tutu, I was introduced to the concept of “Yu, u nobuntu.” Yu, u nobuntu, or better known as “ubuntu,” means to hold oneself, the familial relationships, intimate relationships, community, and the broad mass of people in high and equal regard. Ubuntu in short, addresses the essence of what it means to be human. This concept captivated me so much because if it were more conventional, the world we are all living in would be a more loving place.

     Ubuntu is an African philosophy that is used to acknowledge people for having a wonderful character, psyche, or aura. It’s broken down into two parts. The first part is using your strengths to help others who aren’t as strong in those areas while still treating them as an equal human being. Showing genuine characteristics that consist of compassion, empathy, hospitality, friendliness, generosity, gentleness, and care. The second part is sharing your worth, recognizing and understanding that who you are is bound to others. Showing genuine characteristics of openness and large-heartedness. In the text Desmond Tutu states that, “People with ubuntu are approachable and welcoming; their attitude is kindly and well-disposed; they are not threatened by the goodness in others because their own esteem and self-worth is generated by knowing they belong to a greater whole.” Ubuntu originated from the Nguni Bantu languages where the meaning is interpreted as “I am what I am because of who we all are.” Meaning, people need people to become their best selves, humans require other human beings as a means to be human.

     In this world filled with loneliness, sorrow, pain, and hurt, ubuntu should be a more talked about concept everybody should take strides into achieving and exhibiting. Desmond Tutu says it best in that, “…we need one another, our natural tendency is to be cooperative and helpful. If this were not true we would have died out as a species long ago, consumed by our violence and hate.” Despite all the suffering we have faced and still face, we are all here today seeking and striving for grace, harmony, peace, love, and community. We want to be saved, but we won’t put our best foot forward into doing so. As a result, nobody likes the world we are making, and everyone just keeps making it. People need to keep exploring what this world has to offer, and while finding themselves they will allow others to find who they are as well due to basic human interaction, where together we will all make this world a better place.

     People have the ability to make themselves and others better people through the basic foundation of having a positive attitude, outlook on life, being mindful, and showing compassion. This foundation reveals your bright spirit while displaying that you care and look to be more knowledgeable about the world around you which can spread to others. This foundation and ubuntu will always be put to the test since feelings of aggression, anger, greed, and hate will always be prevalent. However, it’s always best to remember that when coming face to face with these dilemmas, you are encountering a victim, and the person dehumanizing others is dehumanizing themself, so take action in the way you find best suitable. Desmond Tutu indicates that the oppressor was dehumanized just as much or more than those oppressed. For the reason that it’s bewildering how a human being can reach such a state to treat other human beings as such. However, like initially stated, it’s best to maintain your bright spirit and help all that are dehumanized in the way you find best fit.

     “The only way we can be human is together. The only way we can be free is together.” – Desmond Tutu

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