I sit here in South Africa, now calmer after a few weeks of a wave of xenophobic attacks and I wonder how that happened when the true spirit of ubuntu is a part of African culture? Not just that the very people South Africans are attacking are the ones who harboured them during Apartheid years. Has the world turned on its head? Has the work and sacrifice of men like Mandela and Sisulu and Luthuli been for nought? How sad it would be if it was.
In my opinion the entire world could do with a good dose of ubuntu. I found this challenge through the 1000 Voices for Compassion page and ubuntu is the same in that it speaks of the need to be like a village to support each other and that without each one doing their bit the whole village will collapse. The world is collapsing because people just don't care.
This week in Alexandra, a township in South Africa, people looked on while a man was stabbed to death. While a lot of them were held back by fear it was also disinterest that kept them out of it. A feeling of 'oh well it isn't me being attacked so let me get on with my business rather'. How have people become so complacent? That is not the behaviour of a village or even a human. Even in the animal kingdom the whole herd will come together to protect one of their own from attack!
I truly believe that each and every one of us can make a difference, no matter how small the contribution. I will continue to beat this particular drum.
You cannot feed a billion but you can feed one.
You may not have clothes for 100 but you have a pair of shoes or a jacket for one.
While you may think just helping one isn't enough so why bother, it makes all the difference to that one. If the haves help the have nots stand on their feet then eventually all of that trickles down. Isn't that what ubuntu is about? Making sure everybody is taken care of? A constant pay-it-forward culture and one where compassion and care are at the core.
It will never be an easy road but it certainly is one we need to start walking on.
Ubuntu starts with each and every one of us. We all need to take responsibility for our own actions. It is no longer enough to simply turn our heads away and say it isn't our business. We are one global village, drawn more and more closely together by the dawn of the digital age which makes challenges like this possible. Let us use these platforms to spread the message - that it is one of hope and promise. Not one of despair and disaster.
No human can or should stand alone, so it is time we stand together for a better world.
I am because we are.