Ubuntu

Sep 23, 2010

Ubuntu – /ʊbu:ntʊ/ – “I am what I am because of who we all are” (Leymah Gbowee).

Before the computer nerds in the audience start getting all excited, I’m not talking about the Linux Operating System.

The word ubuntu is an ethical philosophy which comes from a Bantu language of Africa, possibly Zulu (“umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu” – a person is only a person through relationships with others).

Archbishop Desmond Tutu further explained, “One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity.

We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.”