Happy 2009, everyone. I hope this new year brings us all good health, prosperity, security and happiness.
I’m feeling inspired today because of a book I’m reading by theologian and pastor Jim Wallis–“The Great Awakening.” At one point in the fourth chapter, Wallis discusses the African concept called “ubuntu.” He quotes Archbishop Desmond Tutu as describing ubuntu as “the essence of being a person. It means that we are people through other people. We cannot be fully human alone. We are made for interdependence, we are made for family. When you have ubuntu, you embrace others. You are generous, compassionate.” (Quoted from a Beliefnet interview and cited in Wallis’ endnotes.)
Using the word of Tutu, Wallis goes on to note that a person with ubuntu is rich and powerful enough to help others who are not, and thus people can go forward and work for the common good together. Wow. It’s almost enough to make you start humming “Kumbaya,” isn’t it? But seriously. We are the best we can be when we work together with our fellow men and women. We can achieve more as a community.
Let’s all do something to help someone else this year. Even better, let’s help a lot of someones and help make our community a better place. It’s okay to start small.