Many of us, as well as those who have spent time in East and Southern Africa, are familiar with the term “humanity,” or “ubuntu.” Africans believe in humanity, which entails being open and available to others rather than being selfish. People in old days used to say that “Go alone if you want to move quickly but If you want to go a long way movetogether” Here I raise a question; Is it possible for Ubuntu or humanity to foster a more compassionate, collaborative society while also enabling the social and economic progress that appears to be required for the world’s need for a dignified, secure existence?
Let me drive my argument basing on humanity’s deeper meanings based on the following aspects: Self awareness, humanity enhances our spirituality, community is tricky and requires skills to see it, humanity broadens our perspectives, and constructing humanity requires practice.
Self awareness and conflict
Through a mirror of individuality, the world cannot survive. I was once in Norway for a summer school, and one of the facilitators said something that made me think about ubuntu (Humanity). He remarked “Am happy I was born in Norway,” which I took to mean that you are more likely to achieve if you are born into a good community. This led me to believe that someone may perceive himself or herself to be powerful because somebody else is weak. If I classify myself as just a black person solely because another is Asian, my identity causes me to be a loser. My masculinity is lacking if I recognize myself as a man and oppress women. Humanity assists us in reinforcing our interconnection as well as our understanding of who we are and what we value. The goal of the humanity (Ubuntu) is to learn about oneself before learning about others. We can’t tell if we’re nice, disciplined, or beautiful unless we accept our communities, which serve as our benchmarks.
As I write these lines, much is happening in our society that exposes brutality that is the polar opposite of Ubuntu-Superiority, economic collapse, global warming, and the tragedies we watch on television, such as in Ukraine and Afghanistan, where isolationists deny girls a future. We Africans believe that no one can thrive in isolation unless they are related to all living things.
“Lovers don’t keep their nakedness hidden from one other.”
“Ubuntu is based on what I call a connected type of existence, which essentially means that you are who you are because others are, whether they are friends, pets, educators, or the ancestors. In other words, as a human being, your humanity and personhood are nurtured through your interactions with others. Nobody can be human by themselves. Whether religious or not, we are all connected. We all believe there is no heaven on earth when a bomb goes off in Somalia or Covid-19 kills people in China. People might argue, weep, and disagree; it’s not like there aren’t conflicts, but the link is a shared understanding of what impacts the community. Such information causes us to reflect on the world’s problems. Here is where Ubuntu (Humanity) comes in.
Creating a sense of Humanity
Personal, community, and global solutions are all required for building collective self. Ubuntu is the only operating system that can provide this solution (Humanity)
We’ve all heard of love and kindness, and we’ve all experienced how such qualities attract all of our interactions and bring happiness into our lives. What distinguishes out from the usual attitude of human to human is that the most important thing to remember when it comes to ‘ubuntu’ is that one is a human being. As a result, in traditional African civilizations, everyone is welcome; everyone is welcome just because they are ‘watu’ (people). It also implies that one’s humanity is caught up in, or intimately linked to, the humanity of others, and that humans belong together in a bundle of life.
Because of Ubuntu (Humanity) I am
The African concept of humanity rejects the idea that a person can be identified just by their physical and psychological characteristics. Humility is the cultural cornerstone of African common life. It reflects society’s connection, which is humanistic, community-based, and social democrat in nature. Anyone who does not identify with the community is considered an outcast, which is in direct opposition to Liberal beliefs. As a result, an African organization must base its operations on the belief that the community cares about its members.
To sum up, we can observe that diverse facets of human nature and identity develop both within the humanity(Ubuntu) worldview and other systems that respect human nature. These are what humans are as a result of their genetic makeup, how they exercise their freedom, and what they are as a result of their upbringing and culture. Without the receiver and society’s inputs, human nature is incomplete. People do not come into this world with fully formed capacities, and it is part of the ‘humanizing’ process to develop those capacities.
I believe many of you will agree, and we hope Ubuntu or humanity will provide you with more opportunities to ponder on how to expand your own practice for long-term sustainability. Ubuntu is a philosophy and practice that is compatible with the values of social work and resonates with many cultures around the world.