Ubuntu

Our School Theme for 2021-2022 school year is UBUNTU!  It's pronounced OO-BOON-TOO.

What is Ubuntu?  What does it mean?  I am because of you.  I am because we are.  We are all one.  People are not people without other people.  We get to experience the deepest parts of our own humanity through our interactions with others.  Ubuntu is at play all around us by children interacting with other children, teachers, and staff, which results in children lifting each other up and supporting one another by working, living, and leading through kindness and compassion, and realizing that they can make a difference, and teachers interacting with other teachers, children, and staff where veteran teachers are mentoring younger teachers, younger teachers are helping older teachers with technology, teachers are helping children achieve high academic achievement, and staff are helping our school operate as one cohesive unit whose goal is to enable our whole school community improve by helping others achieve their full potential.

Ubuntu--the ancient African philosophy that we are one human family.  We are brothers and sisters, traveling this earth together.  We recognize our unbreakable bond and link to the whole of humanity by recognizing the humanity of one another.  This was taken from a book, Ubuntu! by Stephen C. Lundin and Bob Nelson.

According to Nelson Mandela, there are various aspects of Ubuntu so our goal is to provide you with examples and quotes below indicating how others describe and use Ubuntu!  We ask all students to think about how you can use Ubuntu to work, live, and lead everywhere, but especially here at school.

The Concept of "Ubuntu" told by President Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was the President of South Africa from 1994 - 1999.  He's known as the Father of South Africa and he was an icon of democracy, social justice, and received more than 250 honors including the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the personification of Ubuntu.  Nelson Mandela was asked, What do you understand Ubuntu to be?  Nelson Mandela replied, “A traveler through a country would stop at a village and he didn't have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him. That is one aspect of Ubuntu but it will have various aspects."  He also stated, "Ubuntu does not mean that people should not enlist themselves.  The question; therefore is, are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to improve.  These are the important things in life, and if one can do that, then you've done something very important that will be appreciated."

According to Nelson Mandela, "You have a limited time to stay on earth.  You must try and use that period for the purpose of transforming your country into what you desire it to be.  And, therefore, you have to reject all negative visions in your own soul, in your blood system, and focus your attention on the positive things."

Ubuntu: A Brief Description by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu introduced Ubuntu to the world.  Ubuntu preaches tolerance. It does not matter what skin color, hair color, or country we each come from. It is important to realize we all share a common bond because we are all human.  Tutu stated, "Africa is the birthplace of Ubuntu.  Humanities oneness with our creator and nature.  I dream of a new world and a new humanity.  A humanity that expresses Ubuntu.  I am because we are.  We are all one.  I encourage you to remember that magic of who you are.  Live to your highest potential and see the potential in others.  To celebrate the wonder of our diversity and to go and be who you are.  This is our common legacy."

Obama Speaks about Ubuntu & Empathy at Nelson Mandela Memorial Service

Obama gave a speech about Nelson Mandela and he stated: "Mandela understood the ties that bind the human spirit.  A word that captures Mandela's greatest gifts.  His recognition that we are all bound together in ways that are invisible to the eye.  That there's a oneness to humanity.  That we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others and caring for those around us."

The Playbook: Why Doc Rivers Says Ubuntu Led Him and the 2008 Celtics to an NBA Title

Here Doc Rivers describes how Ubuntu was used for his 2008 Boston Celtics team.  He stated, "On our team we have a phrase called Ubuntu, a person is a person through other people.  I can't be all I can be, unless you are all you can be. I can never be threatened by you because you're good, because the better you are, the better I am.  That belief system is through our entire team.  I may not be a leader or a player may not be a leader, but he understands the only way that he can achieve what he wants to achieve is that he has to make his teammates better, his players better, my coaches better, and that is the Ubuntu philosophy.  That is a form of leadership.  If Kevin Garnett is out on the floor helping Rajon Rondo with his shooting, then Kevin Garnett is being Ubuntu and that's what we say in our culture."  The team used the word Ubuntu as their pregame chant, and had the word Ubuntu etched into their championship rings.  Doc Rivers credited his discovery of the word Ubuntu to Kita "Thierry" Matungulu, founder of Hoops 4 Hope, a South African organization that introduces kids to sports and teaches life skills.  She suggested that he research it and stated, "It's not a word, Doc. It's a way of life."  It turned out to be very instrumental--the magic that he needed--for the 2008 Boston Celtics team to win an NBA title.

Boyd Varty: What I learned from Nelson Mandela

According to Boyd Varty, "In a more collective society, we realize from the inside that our own well being is deeply tied to well being of others.  Danger is shared.  Pain is shared.  Joy is shared.  Achievement in shared.  Houses are shared.  Food is shared.  Ubuntu asks us to open our hearts and to share."

Nelson Mandela Explains the Importance of Humility | The Oprah Winfrey Show

Oprah asked Nelson Mandela, "How do we begin those of us who aren't leading countries, but are just leading our own lives, leading our families, come to a sense of truth and reconciliation with ourselves to be a peacemaker?  How do you do that?"  Nelson Mandela responded, "The first thing is to be honest with yourself.  You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself, and one of the most important weapons in changing yourself is to recognize that peace--I mean people everywhere in the world want peace, but humility is one of the most important qualities which you must have, because if you are humble, if you make people realize that you are no threat to them, then people will embrace you."

UBUNTU! - Motivational Speech by Howard Schultz (Starbucks)

"From day one, I really wanted to build the kind of company my father never got a chance to work for.  A company that honors and respects the dignity of work and the dignity of all men and all women.  And that is why we became the first company in all of America to provide comprehensive health insurance 30 years ahead of the Affordable Care Act, as well as ownership in the form of Stock Options for all of our employees, including part-time people.  Because it is my firm belief that success in business and in life is best when it's shared." ~Howard Schultz (Starbucks)

"Our core purpose and reason for being then and now has always been to achieve the fragile balance between profit and humanity.  Today the equity of the Starbucks brand has never been stronger, and our track record of creating shareholder value and social impact over the past 25 years has virtually been unparalleled.  We have built one of the most respected and recognized brands in the world with the view that today the rules of engagement for business and business leaders have changed, that we must do more for our people and the communities we serve, but most importantly, that not every business decision is an economic one, and that success is not an entitlement.  It has to be earned and earned every day through the lens of humility." ~Howard Schultz (Starbucks)

"I encourage you to trust yourself and to be mindful of these three enduring questions: How will you respect your parents and honor your family?  How will you share your success and serve others with dignity?  And how will you lead with humility and demonstrate moral courage?  You're leaving this campus as the best-prepared generation in the history of our country.  You each possess entrepreneurial spirit, the passion, and the commitment to create the future you deserve.  However, don't stop there.  Try not to rely only on what you learned in the classroom.  Summon your compassion, your curiosity, and your empathy towards others, and your commitment to service.  Give more than you receive, and I promise you, it will come back to you in ways you can't possibly imagine.  Each of you is here today because of someone else; a parent, a sibling, a teacher, a neighbor, a mentor, someone who had faith and confidence in you like my mother had in me and nurtured your dreams.  As you leave here today, take a moment to think of those who have come before you, who have helped you along the way, who are at your side today.  If they are here, embrace them and thank them for the gift of education and the support and the love that they have given you.  Your generation can bring people together like no other.  You can innovate, create, and lead.  Your generation will transform our economy and create millions of new jobs.  You will develop cleaner energy.  You will make it so racism only exists in the history books.  Yes, you will.  You will be the generation that teaches the world that we are at our best when we recognize, respect, and celebrate our diversity.  You can and you will make your mark on our country and our shared humanity.  Dream big, and then dream bigger.  A more innovative dream, a more inclusive dream." ~Howard Schultz (Starbucks)

We are because of each other.  Ubuntu!  Ubuntu!  Ubuntu! Yes.  Say it with me.  Ubuntu!  Ubuntu!  Ubuntu!  Ubuntu!  Ubuntu!  Go forward and continue to make your parents and your family proud." ~Howard Schultz (Starbucks)

According to Shola Richards, "Ubuntu is an African word that means "I am because we are".  It refers to the power of our shared humanity rooted in kindness, compassion, and interconnectedness."  He also stated, "The world needs us now to begin this important work.  We don't have the luxury to wait.  I am because we are and if we choose to elevate humanity because we are we can change how we work, how we live and how we lead together.  The circle of life continues.  Ubuntu."

Examples of Ubuntu:

Ubuntu (n.) the belief that we all are defined by our compassion and humanity towards others

Ubuntu (n.) "I am what I am because of who we all are"; compassion, kindness and humanity that connect us together by sharing ourselves with others and caring for those around us

"It's not about you.  It's not about me.  It's about "we" working together as one." ~unknown

Ubuntu - I am who I am because of who you are.

Ubuntu - I in You and You in Me

Ubuntu - an ancient Zulu word meaning: "humanity toward others" or "I am what I am because of who we all are"

"It means you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have." ~Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"Bringing people together is what I call 'Ubuntu,' which means 'I am because we are.' ~Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"Ubuntu is the essence of being human.  Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you cannot exist as a human being in isolation.  It speaks about our interconnectedness.  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 you do affects the whole world.  When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity." ~Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"In Africa there is a concept known as Ubuntu--the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world it will, in equal measure, be due to the work and achievement of others." ~Nelson Mandela

"If you want to go quickly, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together." ~African Proverb

"Everyone is welcome here." ~unknown

"You can't be human all by yourself." ~Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things." ~Mother Theresa

"Spread love everywhere you go.  Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier." ~Mother Theresa

"You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lead from the back--and let others believe they are in the front. ~Nelson Mandela

"The illusions of division threaten our very existence.  We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us.  But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers.  We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe." ~T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman)

An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe.  He put a basket of fruit near a tree and told the kids that the first one to find the fruits would win them all.  When he told them to run they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together, enjoying their fruits.  When he asked them why they ran like that as one could've taken all the fruits for one's self, they said: "UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?"

In certain regions of South Africa, when someone does something wrong, he is taken to the center of the village and surrounded by his tribe for two days while they speak of all the good he has done.  They believe each person is good, yet sometimes we make mistakes, which is really a cry for help.  They unite in this ritual to encourage the person to reconnect with his true nature.  The belief is that unity and affirmation have more power to change behavior than shame and punishment.  This is known as Ubuntu - humanity towards others.

"Whenever you think that you're too small to make a difference, try to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room.  Can you fall sleep peacefully boy when the mosquito buzzes by your ear?  Even though the mosquito is small it knows it can make a difference on things far greater than he.  Go forth boy.  Be the mosquito!" ~Shola Richard's dad reciting an African riddle to him when he came home from school complaining that he was too small to make a difference in this world.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
Forgive you
Respect you
Involve you
Encourage you
Need you
Deserve you
Support you

Ubuntu - a way of life

“Man must work out of regard for others, especially his own family, but also for the society he belongs to, the country of which he is a child, and the whole human family of which he is a member, since he is the heir to the work of generations and at the same time a sharer in building the future of those who will come after him in the succession of history.”                         ~St. John Paul II