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Post on: August 18, 2018

It is always heartwarming to read motivating stories which uplift us. We may not be able to vouch for the story’s authenticity. But it is not important. What matters is that they capture our hearts, set us thinking and create a desire within us to act positively. A lesson can be learnt from the success or misfortune the story brings…

The word Ubuntu has been making its round on the internet lately. It is a touching story from Africa. An anthropologist shared an anecdote pertaining to this…

The anthropologist had been studying the custom and culture of a tribe in Africa for months. The children were fond of him and always surround him while he went about his research activities.

One day, he wanted to distribute sweets to the children. He thought of having a game instead to hand it to the deserving winner — after all, a sweet would taste sweeter when one fights for it and wins.

He placed a basket of sweets adorned with a beautiful ribbon near a tree. The children were told to stand 100 meters away with a starting line drawn on the ground. He then explained that whoever reaches the basket first would get all the sweets. He motivated them that at the command of “Ready, Go”, everyone should race towards the sweets in mind.

With much thrill and anticipation, he excitedly announced, “Ready, Go!” But to his surprise, the children held hands and ran towards the basket as a group.

And once they reached the basket, they divided the sweets equally and had a splendid time sharing and eating the sweets together.

Feeling a bit disappointed that it did not turn out the way he had expected, he asked them, “Why did all of you run together when it went against the spirit of competition… Moreover, the winner could have won all the sweets for himself?”

They answered, “Ubuntu.” It meant, “How can one be happy when the others are sad?” Ubuntu is a philosophy of African tribes that can be summed up as “I am what I am because of who we all are.”

The anthropologist was astounded. All his research was nothing compared to the invaluable lesson which had just transpired before his very eyes. The children’s action captured the true essence of their way of life.

The Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s words of wisdom on the subject, “Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language. It speaks of the very essence of being human… you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, ‘My humanity is inextricably bound up in yours.’ We belong in a bundle of life.”’

The Jolly Good Times will be bringing you a series of such inspiring stories. They are powerful read; easy to digest and leaves behind a message. If you had enjoyed reading, share it — invite your kakis (buddies) to like us on our Facebook.

#JollyGoodTimes #Ubuntu #ShajiThomasVarughese

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