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Jun 20, 2024

"What you see in others is a reflection of who you truly are." --Wakanyi Hoffman

Captioning Ubuntu

Our stories are a product of countless other stories in time and space. In South Africa, there is a saying that translates to: "A person is a person through other persons." In Kenya, there is a saying that translates to, "A person is other people." Both adages echo the essence of "ubuntu" -- systems of values that honor deep interconnectedness. Storyteller and author Wakanyi Hoffman illustrates personal expressions of ubuntu through her daughter's graduation, a friend's traditional wedding dress that travelled from Kenya to the Netherlands to Japan, and two photos: one of family, and the other of a heartwarming expression of togetherness -- one between two monkeys and a wild pig. Through a tapestry of stories, Hoffman discerns the difference between detachment and disconnection, and the possibilities that unfold when we choose to prefer love. Echoing Maya Angelou, who stated, "I come as one but I stand as ten thousand," Hoffman notes, "I come here as one, but I am one ... of ten thousand ancestors who have made so many decisions in order for me to be sitting here today." 


Honor someone whose story intersects or has informed your own today. As a fun bonus, suggest a caption in the story comments for the animal photo.