There is no English equivalent to the word Ubuntu. The Nguni word from South Africa refers to the capacity to express compassion, justice, reciprocity, dignity, harmony and humanity in the interests of building, maintaining and strengthening community. It is about the self being so rooted in the community, that your personal identity is defined by what you give to the community. 'I am because we are, and since we are, therefore I am' is a good example of the 'self-in-community' foundation that gives rise to sayings in Zulu, such as 'Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu' -- 'It is through others that one attains selfhood.' In this thought-provoking article, the author explores Ubuntu as a framework that could inform our thinking in the twenty-first century.

andrey's picture

Did you know that there is an open-source operating system project called Ubuntu? It's now the fastest growing project in the fastest growing operating system Linux. We've used it before and set up very complex servers based on it. The energy behind it is quite wonderful.

Here are some excerpts from their site:

"Ubuntu is a community developed operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. Whether you use it at home, at school or at work Ubuntu contains all the applications you'll ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools.

Ubuntu is and always will be free of charge. You do not pay any licensing fees. You can download, use and share Ubuntu with your friends, family, school or business for absolutely nothing.

What does Ubuntu mean?
Ubuntu is an African word meaning 'Humanity to others', or 'I am what I am because of who we all are'. The Ubuntu distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the software world."

Link to Ubuntu website.

Elza Edelson's picture

Interesting to find this topic on Ubuntu. In my preparation for opening up a Global Village in Port Elizabeth in South Africa in the Nelson Madiba Bay area - I have begun interacting with a number of members of the local township area here. Working with them on a one on one basis and in meetings - I was so surprised to discover that so few of our local Africans knew what Ubuntu meant. I decided to make large posters and give group talks to a number of gatherings to reawaken their spirit into Oneness of All and community awareness projects.
It is an heart rendering and eye opening revelation to acknowledge how 'shell shocked' so many are from poverty consciousness. So many - even in intimate relationships - do not trust the 'word - love' - they do not use the word and therefore are not yet vibrating at this level.
As a role in my teaching fields of 'caregiving' educational levels - I now begin all courses on the essence of love for self. My theme is that if you have no love for self - how can you then love another. This expands into the awareness of what is needed in caregiving community projects.
This is no easy task - and I have to admit that I have taken responsibilty and am using the Ho'oponopono techniques to heal our members of our local townships.
In Port Elizabeth - South Africa - our Walmer township is said to have the highest crime rate, the poorest of poor and you all know the rest.
It is my passionate desire to raise awareness through the healing vibrations of love here.

Bodhi's picture

Right on, Elza! It is a joy to see the spirit of Ubuntu alive in you. Thank you for sharing your light with the world.
In gratitude,


Elza Edelson's picture

Helo Bodhi - Cornelia asked me to contact you so that you can please mail her again - her computer crashed and she lost all her email addresses.

The Gathering Spot is a PEERS empowerment website
"Dedicated to the greatest good of all who share our beautiful world"