top of page

musings from linda 1/27/23


Sometimes you need a word to describe something — and there isn’t one! WONDERFUL words exist in other languages that are perfect — but they don’t exist in English …. Kummerspeck — Germany: weight gained from excessive eating from being sad.

Gigil — Philippines: a situation of such cuteness that it’s overwhelming.

Ubuntu — South Africa: interconnectedness; always having human dignity at the core of your thoughts, deeds, actions.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu described Ubuntu in this way:

“You can’t be human all by yourself — and when you have this quality — Ubuntu — you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas we are connected —And what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.”

The word “Ubuntu” literally means “a person is a person through other people — or — “I am because We All are.”

A beautiful story of UBUNTU at work comes from a South African tribe… If someone does something wrong, they take the person to the center of the village where the tribe surrounds him. For two whole days there is no judgment, but recounting of all the good things the person has done in life. The tribe believes everyone is essentially GOOD , but people make mistakes. Fellow villagers unite to help the person remember their innate good nature.”

In the 1990’s, the Ubuntu concept was used as a guiding ideal for the transition from

apartheid to majority rule. HOW AMAZING IS THAT???

After years and years of racist oppression, the Interim Constitution of South Africa said:

“ There is a need for understanding, but not vengeance

For reparation, but not retaliation

For UBUNTU but not victimization.“

Generosity of spirit — to the ultimate degree!!

UBUNTU — a new word for our vocabulary— but MORE than that — an important way to approach the way we each live our lives. Hear the choir sing a choral anthem about Ubuntu this Sunday! — and click here to hear a preview… Imagine what the world could look like if “Ubuntu” were the guiding principle for all of us?

32 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page