Recently I came across the word Ubuntu.
The word intrigued me as much as the word Namaste intrigues me.
Synchronicity lead me to buy the latest Vanity Fair Magazine, highlighting different people and their efforts in Africa. Within that magazine was a conversation between Desmond Mpilo Tutu, the archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, and Brad Pitt, the well known actor, and now well recognized humanitarian.
I first read the article regarding Jeffrey Sachs, entitled Jeffrey Sachs’s $200 Billion Dream, by Nina Munk. I wasn’t simply enthralled with the intelligence that lead to the ability to create and foster both dreams and a realized reality for others, I was left in a state of incomprehension by the tenacity, the sheer perseverence of the mission Mr. Sachs, his family, people working with him, and countless others exhibit. I have a dream, it’s a smaller one, called surface earth, the zipcode exchange: the intent is to create a web, beginning within a single community, then spanning silken strands, community by community, until no person or no part of this Earth is left untouched, people helping others, constantly, as a natural way of life, a readjustment. I am still working on my matrix, whereas Mr. Sachs has run with his.
I continued reading on….
From the table of contents on Vanity Fair Online you can see:
“THE TUTU CONNECTION Archbishop Desmond Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize for opposing apartheid in South Africa. Talking with Brad Pitt, he explains why the fight for equality must go global. Photographs by Annie Leibovitz”.
I, however, have the print edition because I prefer in many ways, the printed page. I was wildly pleased when I began the article at page 96, to see within the fifth exchange the following:
Brad Pitt: What is this concept of Ubuntu I keep reading about?
Desmond Tutu: Ubuntu is the essence of being human. And in our language a person is ubuntu, and ubuntu is a noun to speak about what it means to be human. In essence, it is something that you find especially in the Old Testament, where you’re not quite sure sometimes-when you are reading, say the Psalms-whether the Psalm is speaking, where it says, ‘I,’ only of an individual, or is it speaking in a corporate sense? We say a person is a person through other persons. You can’t be human in isolation. You are human only in relationships.
Brad Pitt: So that speaks to our interconnectedness.
Desmond Tutu: We are interconnected………………….
Normally, I would go on, type more of the article, the exchange, but some things must be made palpable, must be received through sensory perceptions, since we so long ago closed off other means of perception…read the article, in fact, read the entire magazine.
I am convinced – Ubuntu – is not just a beautiful word that sings without need for comprehension, Ubuntu is also a journey.