I recently learned a new word! And being that I am a lover of words; the exposure to this new word to me is something that excited me enough to want to blog about it.You see, I proudly ascribe to being in that group of people who are actually energized by the continuous opportunity we all have for lifelong learning. This to me is very important because I realize that regardless of one’s brilliance and intelligence, we will never (nor can we ever) learn it all. At any given space in time there lies the capacity to learn something new. To learn something that we’ve never known before. There’s always more available to us to learn if we simply allow a part of ourselves to remain open to the mindset of being a student as we journey through this experience we call life.So how did this new word experience happen? I was actually working on another writing project I had on this particular day. The task included developing a new website. After I decided on the basic design I realized the that the default font that was being used didn’t really appeal to me and I needed to change it.I started scrolling through the list of available fonts and immediately one stood out to me and I clicked it.The name of the font is, you guessed it, ‘Ubuntu’. I had never before heard of, or remembered ever seeing this font. And although I can’t really explain why, I was immediately drawn to this word, ‘Ubuntu’. I liked it. I liked the way the name rolled off my lips and reminded me of Africa.
After I clicked on it and saw how the font looked on the website, I decided that “yes” the ‘Ubuntu’ font would definitely be the default for this particular website.I continued working on the website but made a mental note to research this word later being curious to find out what it actually means.Upon researching the meaning of the word I understood perfectly why I had been drawn to this word.Here are some of the things I learned about the word ‘Ubuntu’ from a few different sources:
- o͝oˈbo͝on(t)o͞o/noun – a quality that includes the essential human virtues; compassion and humanity.
- “…the word Ubuntu is just part of the Zulu phrase “Umuntu ngumuntu mgabantu”, which literally means that a person is a person through other people. Ubuntu has its roots in humanist African philosophy, where the idea of community is one of the building blocks of society. Ubuntu is that nebulous concept of common humanity, oneness; humanity, you and me both.”
- “Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning ‘humanity to others.’ It is also described as meaning ‘I am what I am because of who we all are.”
- Bishop (Desmond) Tutu has described Ubuntu as: 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.
- “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 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.”
After just a short research of this word ‘Ubuntu’ I understand clearly why I was drawn to it. The virtues of compassion and humanity are very important to me and I believe to the world in which we live. I strongly believe in the concept of common humanity and that in many ways we are more alike than we are different. I love the way that Desmond Tutu described a person who is ‘Ubuntu’ and I personally aim to live life each day as that kind of person. Doing whatever my part may be to make a positive impact in the world for the greater good of all. I aim to be ‘Ubuntu’.
I am glad I learned about the word ‘Ubuntu’. And I am glad that I have the opportunity through this blog to share this word with all of you who read this post. I do believe we are all connected and that what we do does have the capacity to affect the whole world. There’s a whole lot of things going on in the world today. To some the picture looks very bleak, to others, there always remains a light of hope for the better. I fall into the second camp. I believe that not only does the world need love sweet love; but also a whole bunch of ‘Ubuntu’ people. If you’ve read this blog post this far, I’m thinking you just may be one of them. Are you ‘Ubuntu’? If not, how about aiming to become ‘Ubuntu’. What say ye?