UBUNTU… MAYBE OUR SOCIETY NEEDS A RESTART
”The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed”
In our modern Western civilization, competition is considered a key component of the economic system, a vital attribute of capitalism.
But does always competition benefit our society? Should it shape our entire world and the relationships with others?
Is it really possible to rate beauty or love on a scale…?
I’m trying to read behind those popular ‘1–10 scale rating’ posts on social media and to understand until what point this idea of competition has molded our minds.
An ‘Ubuntu’ attitude
Let’s revisit this old true story of the anthropologist and the African children.
An anthropologist who was studying the life and traditions of an African community challenged the children of the tribe with a little game. He put a cake in a basket next to a tree. Then he called the children and explained to them how to play the game.
When the anthropologist signaled the start, the children had to run to the tree and the first one to get there could have the cake for him/herself.
So, they all aligned, waiting for the signal.
When the man said ‘now’, the children held each other’s hands and ran together towards the tree. They all arrived at once, shared the cake, sat down, and ate it.
The anthropologist went over to them and asked why they had all run together when any of them could have the cake all to himself.
The children answered: ‘Ubuntu. How could any of us be happy if all the others were sad?’
Ubuntu is a traditional South African philosophy based on the idea that
‘ We affirm our humanity when we acknowledge that of others.’
It is the consciousness of the fact that we are in permanent communication and communion with others and nature. This awareness automatically eradicates the idea of ‘separation’ and ‘competition’.
Instead of clinging to the belief that there is not enough for everybody, we may start to reconsider some of our ideas about interpersonal relationships, and remember that order and balance in the universe are not possible without love.