An anthropologist studying the habits and customs of an African tribe found himself surrounded by children most days. So he decided to play a little game with them. He managed to get candies from the nearest town, and put it all in a decorated basket at the foot of a tree.
Then he called the children and suggested they play a game. When the anthropologist said ‘now’ the children had to run to the tree and the first one to get there could have all the candies to himself / herself.
So the children all lined up waiting for the signal. When the anthropologist said ‘now’ all the children held each others’ hand and ran together towards the tree. They all arrived at the same time, divided up the candies, sat down, and began to happily munch away.
The anthropologist went over to them and asked why they had all run together, when any one of them could have had the candies all to himself / herself.
The children responded: “Ubuntu! How could any one of us be happy if all the others were sad?”
Ubuntu is a philosophy of African tribes that can be summed up as “I am what I am because of who we all are.”
Bishop Desmond Tutu gave this explanation in 2008:
“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 inter-connectedness. 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 we are connected and what we think, feel and do, even at the individual level, affects the entire universe. When we do well and entertain only positive thoughts and feelings, it radiates out; it is for the whole of humanity.”