Ubuntu: The essence of being human

September 4, 2012
Singapore Democrats

This post is at least a year old. Some of the links in this post may no longer work correctly.

Singapore Democrats

An anthropologist studying thehabits and customs of an African tribe found himself surrounded bychildren most days. $CUT$

So he decided to play a little game with them. Hemanaged to get candy from the nearest town and put it all in adecorated basket, at the foot of a tree.

Then he called thechildren and suggested they play the game. When the anthropologistsaid “now”, the children had to run to the tree and thefirst one to get there could have all the candy to him/herself.

Sothe children all lined up waiting for the signal. When theanthropologist said “now”, all of the children took eachother by the hand ran together towards the tree. They all arrived atthe same time divided up the candy, sat down and began to happilymunch away.

The anthropologist went over to them and asked whythey had all run together when any one of them could have had thecandy all to themselves.

The children responded: “Ubuntu.How could any one of us be happy if all the others were sad?”

Ubuntuis a philosophy of African tribes that can be summed up as “I amwhat I am because of who we all are.” South African human rights advocate Archbishop Desmond Tutu gavethis explanation:

“One of the sayings in ourcountry is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaksparticularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being inisolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be humanall by yourself. We think of ourselves too frequently as individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connectedand what you do affects the whole World… the whole of humanity.”

The SDP was alerted to this article by netizens. It encapsulates beautifully our political philosophy of an egalitarian Singapore.