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Apr 14, 2007

"Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer; into a selflessness which links us with all humanity." --Nancy Witcher Astor

The Universal Concept Of Ubuntu

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.

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