“And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.” -John 17:22
The early Christians were different than what people see Christians as today. They were pacifists, they enjoyed communal living, and their focus was on love. One might say they embodied the spirit of ubuntu.
What is ubuntu? Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term translated as “humanity towards others.” A broader understanding of the term would be “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity,” (Wikipedia).
We all share the same creator, and are all the children of God, as we learn in the first book of Genesis. This bond is universal and connects all of us. The greater we understand this principle, as taught in Kabbalah, the greater we understand ubuntu and our creator.
The following story is shared to explain ubuntu:
“One day, a western anthropologist went to Africa to study the social behavior of an indigenous tribe. He proposed a game to the children and they willingly agreed to be part of it. He put a basket filled with fruits underneath a tree and told the children that whoever would reach the basket first would win the whole basket and could eat the fruits all by him- or herself.
“He lined them all up and raised his hand to give the start signal. Ready. Set. Go!
“The children took each other’s hands and started running together. They all reached the basket at the same time. Then they sat down in a big circle and enjoyed the fruits together, laughing and smiling all the time.
“The anthropologist could not believe what he saw and he asked them why they had waited for each other as one could have taken the whole basket all for him- or herself.
“The children shook their heads and replied, “Ubuntu, how can one of us be happy if all the others are sad?” – Amy Rees Anderson
What could be more Christian that to put others before self? This is the age old internal war between Ego and altruism. The real winners are those who seek altruistic goals and opportunities over that which rewards ego, pride, and selfishness. Let us all move forward embracing the spirit of ubuntu.