Posts tagged ‘Ubuntun’

October 14, 2011

Ubuntu & Mindfulness Without Borders

by athenallewellyn

Ubuntu is a concept stemming from Africa that encompasses a mentality of togetherness, our allegiance and relations to one another. In terms of the participatory space, I find it a fundamental concept. I learned of the conecpt through a program I took called “mindfulness without borders.” MWB is a council building educational program that works with schools and communities building participatory models for open dialogue.   Here you can find a list of podcasts relating to the various steps of council building.  It was a highly educational experience for me, learning how to be a mediator, and taught a great deal about how to ignite someone’s self knowledge rather than feed information.

A translation of Ubuntu is “I am what I am because of who we all are.”  Archbishop Desmond tutuo offered a definition in a 1999 book:

A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed. 

A further explanation  by Tutu:

One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about hte 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. 

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