Ubuntu: Human interdependence

We are living an unprecedented time; the world is going through different degrees of chaos, confusion and suffering. The speed of change that this pandemic has brought us has been completely unexpected, exposing the weaknesses in many of our systems and how we have somehow lost track in defining our priorities as a society.

I believe what each of us is experiencing now is very personal and dependent to a great extent on the situation and circumstances that surround us, but perhaps many of us are taking the time to deeply reflect in our habits and attitudes as individuals and as a global society.

The pandemic for me has drastically highlighted the infallible truth of our interconnected and interdependent origination. It has reminded me of an old African principle called Ubuntu, which refers to a belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all of humanity. It is an ideology that acknowledges human interdependence, how the way we relate with each other defines us. A rough translation or the word Ubuntu could be “humanity to others”.

And it is precisely what this crisis is all about. For me, this crisis is about humanity, considering not only the way we relate to each other, but also how we connect with and pertain to the ecosystems in which we are immersed. This crisis is urging us to mindfully reflect on our social responsibilities, how the actions we take affect others.

It may be that I am a hopeless optimistic, but I want to think that this is an opportunity, a tough one though, to transform the painful challenges we are facing today into a moment to redefine us as individuals, as a global community and profoundly think about the priorities we want to define from now on. In order to transform these challenges into an opportunity we need more than ever clarity of mind.

So please let’s take care of our minds, be safe and be kind.