Balance: success and quality of life, Ubuntu

por The Winners

Success is in the balance. With this title, my dear friend Prof. Dr. Robert Wong has named this spectacular book that unequivocally shows the trilogy of wisdom, relating it to the essential trilogy to realize its potential as a human being. On the last page, Dr. Wong brings the 20 items from the American Indians’ Code, which are already worth reading. This balm of wisdom reminds us of the moment we are experiencing, globally, with enormous and confusing changes, questionings of all kinds and the arrival, second by second, of new methods of making and controlling life. So, we think Ubuntu , which in Africa is a notion in the Zulu and Xhosa languages – Bantu languages of the ngúni group, spoken by the people of sub-Saharan Africa

In South Africa, the notion of Ubuntu was also linked to the history of the struggle against Apartheid and inspired Nelson Mandela in promoting a policy of national reconciliation. Many years earlier, when Mandela created the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) in 1944, the notion was already present in the movement’s manifesto: “Unlike the white man, the African wants the universe as an organic whole that tends to harmony and in which the individual parts exist only as aspects of universal unity”.

The word Ubuntu, not directly translatable, resembles “humanity toward others”. It expresses the awareness of the relationship between the individual and the community. According to the Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu, author of an Ubuntu theology “my humanity is inextricably linked to your humanity”. This notion of brotherhood implies compassion and openness of mind and is opposed to narcissism and individualism.

Nelson Mandela also explains this ideal: “Respect. Courtesy. Sharing. Community. Generosity. Confidence. Detachment. A word can have many meanings. All of this is the spirit of Ubuntu. Ubuntu does not mean that people should not take care of themselves. The point is, are you going to do it in a way to develop your community, allowing it to improve”?

In the South African tradition, reconciliation is expressed through Ubuntu or Humanism, which includes values such as compassion and communion – values that guided the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and served as a basis for the formulation of national reconstruction and reconciliation goals. J.Y. Mokgoro, a judge at the Constitutional Court of South Africa, has shown that this fundamental philosophical principle has decisively influenced the country’s constitutional law since the provisional constitution of 1993 and is contained in the Basic Law No. 34 of 1995 on the Promotion of Unity and Reconciliation.

Have a good reading, Ubuntu.

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