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What is The Ubuntu Philosophy? [Meaning & Explanation]

What is The Ubuntu Philosophy? [Meaning & Explanation]

What is Ubuntu, where does it come from, what is the philosophy and how is it different from the concept of ‘unity’ and ‘service’? Read more…

Philosophy and Origins of Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a humanist philosophy based on loyalty and relationships between people. The word originates from the Banto peoples of southern Africa. Ubuntu is seen as a classic African concept.

The Ubuntu operating system for computers was named after this principle.

Meaning of Ubuntu

Someone with Ubuntu is open and available to others and does not feel threatened when others are also proficient. He or she has a self-confidence that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a larger whole.

When one person is doing well, the group is fine. If a person was not doing well, the group would not be doing well.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu further explained Ubuntu in 2008:

One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu is mainly about the fact that as a human you cannot exist in isolation. It’s about our interconnectedness. You cannot be human on your own. If you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity.

Unity and service, but without forgetting yourself

Far too often we see ourselves as individuals, separate from each other, while you are connected to everyone. What you do affects the whole world. If you do it right, it will spread. It is for all of humanity.

So Ubuntu has a lot to do with service and non-duality , but there is one more important aspect that Nelson Mandela once aptly explained.

Nelson Mandela explained Ubuntu like this:

A traveler traveling across a country stopped at a village and did not have to ask for food or water. When he stops, the people feed and entertain him. That’s one aspect of Ubuntu. However, Ubuntu doesn’t mean people stop thinking about themselves. So the question is, what are you going to do to enable the community around you to become better and stronger so that everyone benefits?

Are you going to live according to the Ubuntu philosophy?

On your luck!

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!

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