Have you come across the African word “Ubuntu”, which translates to “I am because you are”?
The African Journal of Social Work gives it a fuller definition: Ubuntu – A collection of values and practices that people of Africa or African origin view as making people authentic human beings.
While the nuances of these values and practices vary across different ethnic groups, they all point to one thing – an authentic individual human being is part of a larger and more significant relational, communal, societal, environmental and spiritual world.
It doesn’t matter if we are of African, Asian or Caucasian origins; we all have the same construct of being humans. While we may appear differently from our looks because of our genetic make-ups, each cell still contains 23 pairs of chromosomes. And like the life-giving water that makes up ~ 70% of the body and covers ~ 71% of the earth’s surface, we are interdependent and interconnected on this planet.
This month, we mark the end of historical WW II; it is troubling that many lives continue to perish at war. Have we not learnt the lessons? How have we evolved into who we are today? “What makes us HUMAN?”
Yann Arthus-Bertrand, the award-winning filmmaker from France, spent three years collecting real-life stories from 2,000 women and men in more than 60 countries, searching for answers. The result is a powerful documentary. The film has some spectacular aerial scenes of the earth as we dive into a profound quest for humanity.
Intro (4mins): https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Full version (~3 hrs, it is worth watching if you want to “feel” the meaning of simply being HUMAN): https://www.youtube.com/watch?
By watching the film, we may realise we are infinitesimally small yet tightly connected to this larger whole. This feeling may help us find the answers to our modern-day challenges and conflicts as we continue our evolution as humans.
“Nature’s fundamental force is an invisible script to be felt, not seen – I am because You are!”