Nelson Mandela, a 22-carat 20th century hero, has been explaining the African concept of ubuntu to German elevision audiences. Asked by interviewer Tony Modise as to what he, a personification of ubuntu thought was his understanding of the word, the former President of South Africa says this (verbatim):
Ubuntu is a universal truth, it is a way of life, it underpins the concept of an open society.
“In the old days, when one was young, a traveller travelling through the country would stop at a village. And he did not have to ask for food or for water. Once he stopped villagers would give it themselves and attend on him. This is one aspect of ubuntu. But there are many other ramifications…”
Respect, helpfulness, sharing, commitment, caring, trust, unselfishness….
“Ubuntu does not mean people shouldn’t address themselves. The question is, are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you, to improve things in life? These are very imortant things. If you do so, you’ve done something important in life to be appreciated.”
Watch the video:
Questions: do we have a Nelson Mandela in our midst? One single man or woman whom we can all uniformally respect or revere? One single man or woman whose stands tall by the sincerity of his or her word and deed? Someone, put simply, we can all look up to, someone who can be representative of the Indian spirit across the globe?