The world looks and feels like one nasty crime scene right now! From the carnage in Ukraine; the famine in Africa; the mass shootings in the US; the brutal murders in Palestine; and everything in between!
There’s so much pain and suffering. Such negative energy injected and swirling all around the globe. The most worrying part is that energy is contagious! It knows no bounds. From the skylines of the Big Apple to the majesty of the River Congo!
Yet, therein lies our hope too! Hear me out. If negative energy is contagious, so is positive energy. I’m not referring to naive optimism here. More of the small, practical and powerful actions we can all take to contribute towards healing the world. Beginning with the spaces we occupy, our surroundings and in the fullness of time, the rest of the world.
Among the Xhosa of South Africa, there’s a saying: Umntu ngumtu ngabantu. This loosely translates to ‘a person is a person through other people.’
I’m sure it’s not a novel concept and neither is it exclusively Xhosa. In Africa it’s better known as Ubuntu.
As Desmond Tutu famously remarked:
“Ubuntu is the essence of being human. It speaks to how my humanity is bound up inextricably with yours. We are created for a delicate network of relationships, of interdependence with our fellow human beings, with the rest of creation.”
Those words by Desmond Tutu during the darkest days of British apartheid in South Africa are as true now as they were then.
Needless to say, the conflict and chaos we’re witnessing (and for some, experiencing), cannot be wished away by this one phrase.
However, living and practising the spirit of Ubuntu, that I am because we are, that the next person’s humanity and dignity is as important as mine, can go a long way in healing the world.
Cue to MJ’s timeless hit:
Heal the world…
Make this a better place…
For you and for me and the entire human race…