Ubuntu: I’m because WE are



An anthropologist suggested the following game to a group of children in a tribe in Africa: He placed a basket full of fresh fruits under a tree. He then said that whoever reached the basket first in a race would be the winner of all the fruits.

As he gave the signal to begin the race, the whole group held hands, ran bonded together and then sat and enjoyed the prize together.

When he asked why they had done such thing, when he had offered the possibility to one to be the ultimate winner.

They replied: ” UBUNTU”– how could one of us be happy (feel happiness) while the rest are in despair, unhappy?

UBUNTU in the Xhosa culture means: “I am, because we are.”

BloggoUBUNTU, dear fellow bloggers 🙂


52 thoughts on “Ubuntu: I’m because WE are

  1. moshy says:

    And it’s said that the 3rd world has much to learn from us in the modern world. I think not.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      I think all cultures have some wise notions developed over the centuries. Therefore I’m fully in favour of intercultural exchange of ideas and attitudes for the benefit of all humans.

  2. Reblogged this on Mindful Leadership & Intercultural Communication and commented:
    What a wonderful story… would you have run alone or together with the others?

  3. […] UBUNTU- An anthropologist suggested the following game to a group of children in a tribe in Africa: He placed a basket full of fresh fruits under a tree. He then said that whoever reached the baske…  […]

  4. ridicuryder says:

    I gotta visit Africa some time…..have you been there?

  5. yourothermotherhere says:

    Reblogged this on breastfedblog.

  6. Gilead says:

    Sheer joy. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Ajaytao2010 says:

    I am because we are

    Oh what a lovely word UBUNTU

    you are a blessing for everybody of us
    and everybody would agree with me

    again a wonderful word and it meaning
    so beautiful

    thank you dear

    Love Ajay

  8. Ajaytao2010 says:

    Reblogged this on Ajaytao 2010 and commented:
    I ma because you are – that is the meaning of UBUNTU
    what a wonderful post by dear Otrazhenie
    she is the one of the most wonderful souls
    and a blessing to me
    thank you dear Otrazhenie once again

  9. Kaycie says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I will spread it, too!
    This message is so vitally important for the healing of our planet right now. We have forgotten this gentle, loving, compassionate side of our own nature. So many people, in the western world especially, seem to think that humans are naturally cruel, selfish, deceitful and individualistic. This is not my experience. Most humans I meet are beautiful, kind, dynamic, interesting, fun, and loving. We all just want love. I pray that someday we will all remember that.

  10. America seems to have lost this spirit of community. I pray we will recover what has been lost and rebuild the melting pot my parents came here for. Thank you for this splendid post.

  11. Don says:

    Ubuntu transcends culture. It’s the universal principle of true compassion found every where in the world. Africa certainly doesn’t own it and I speak as someone from Africa – lovely story.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      True, Don. Totally agree with you on that. It is the universal principle, but not all languages might have such a nice simple word for expressing it. I like Ubuntu. 🙂

  12. Kaycie says:

    Your post inspired me to start my first ever “chain email.” I usually hate those, but in my heart I know that it is one way of spreading joy. I am proud of my chain email and You are in it. Thanks for this wonderful message I hope we can turn this ripple into a wave!

  13. Sastry says:

    Reblogged this on Sastry's Blog and commented:
    A beautiful word “Ubuntu”

  14. melanie says:

    I’ve already seen this somewhere, still excellent… I do use it! 🙂

  15. malootka says:

    Reblogged this on truthionary.

  16. itsjustnora says:

    If only everybody thought like that!

  17. I wish all cultures had the same maturity. Thanks

  18. This is wonderful! I lived in South Africa for a year, and had some lessons in Xhosa while I worked with a youth theatre group in a township near Cape Town. It was a profound and life changing experience and has informed my life path, which had drawn me ever deeper into the notion of community and compassion and awareness of the whole. I hope, if you wish it, you’ll have the chance to visit Africa one day. Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece of wisdom.

  19. znjavid says:

    In unity lies strength. Loved it and the pic is really cool too!

  20. Cliff says:

    We have much to learn from our Creator, e.g. his generosity, justice, loving-kindness, and purpose for creating the earth.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      We definitely still have lots to learn about ourselves, humanity and earth.

      • Cliff says:

        and what better source to learn about ourselves than from our Creator? The One who knows us far better than we could ever learn by ‘trial and error’ – as has been the case for many. Not only that but we can learn what His real purpose for Creating us is!

  21. Thank you for this wonderful story which I have reblogged on Hanukah the Scribe under Happiness with Hanukah. Love, David

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