In the age of social media, we were able to monitor many movements that, during their work, responded to several global issues.
First, we will review some of these movements, and then we will discuss the reason for the emergence of these movements and why people interact with them and participate in them even though they are far from them
like the ice bucket challenge; Which has spread on a very wide scale, with the participation of many individuals, entities, and even celebrities among them.
This challenge aims to collect donations and raise awareness about ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), and it has recorded a great spread with great success in collecting large sums of money for this disease, and although some of the participants were not afflicted with this disease and did not have affected family members, but they participated in this challenge and responded to the issue.
One of the very unfortunate incidents that occurred recently is the Beirut Port explosion, which caused very great damage on a construction level, economy level, and even at the level of individuals.
In this incident, we saw many families donating their homes to other affected families to stay in, and we noticed many people who offered their homes as a haven and rest for the volunteers coming from outside Beirut who helped the affected individuals repair their homes.
These people are unaffected and may be from outside Beirut, yet when the incident occurred they responded to this issue and felt that they were part of them and that they had sufficient responsibility to help the affected people overcome the ordeal facing them.
At the same time, we witnessed the great interaction with the unfortunate fires that occurred in the Amazon, or with the death of the elephant and its fetus when it ate the firecrackers stuffed fruit.
These people may be very far from the places where these incidents occurred and yet they interact with them with a sense of belonging and that it is their responsibility to invite other people to help and change these issues.
In fact; There may be many reasons for these people to be involved in these issues, but they all revolve around others’ sense of humanity and responsibility to society and the larger world to which we belong.
In Africa, this philosophy describes the relationship of the individual with society and their connection to it, and it is called the Ubuntu philosophy.
Ubuntu is a word used in southern Africa describes the way we view the world and the emergence of an individual’s identity from that of individuals as a whole.
As Desmond Tutu said: A person with Ubuntu is open, available to others, asserts others. they do not feel threatened that others are capable and good because they have adequate self-assurance that comes from knowing that they belong to something bigger, and this thing diminishes when others are insulted or belittled.
And this philosophy is not alien to us. We can feel it and reflect it when we make a positive inquiry that calls for proceeding from the successes of others and their capabilities to achieve societal change.
The Ubuntu philosophy is also related to our appreciation of differences and to our upholding the values of humanity, fairness, equality, respect and dignity while dealing with them, because we believe that we can live in coexistence and peace when the dignity of others is preserved.
The Ubuntu philosophy is certainly related to our systemic thinking, because it supports our interdependence with others within the same system, talks about getting influenced by others our influence on the other, and adopts the rule that the individual is fine when the people around him are fine.
What happened during the Corona pandemic is that we all felt the value of being well so that others would be fine too, and we all felt the inverse relationship to the need for us to be all well so that everyone would be fine, we interacted and encouraged each other to wear medical masks and to take precautions to avoid infection with the virus to not affect society as a whole.
In fact, this pandemic has been a great encouragement to us, for our values, our interdependence with others, and our responsibility for others to be fine and well, for us to be well.
We all felt optimistic when one of the countries started announcing a decrease in the number of Covid cases, and this is what prompted us to be optimistic that the decrease will inevitably include our country.
Thus, Ubuntu bears the slogan “I’m fine because you are fine because we are fine” which is one translation of this slogan.
There are other translations also influenced by the cultures of many societies, such as “I exist because you exist”, or “I am what I am because you are what you are”.
What we understand from these translations is the spirit of Ubuntu, which is based on the fact that others must be fine in order for us to be fine regardless of this translation.
Because of the affiliation of this philosophy to Africa, we may think that it is strange and distant, but in fact, if we go back to the past, to our customs and traditions, and to our interaction with society with its joys and sorrows, and to our community work through which we respond to many issues that do not belong to us, we will find that we proceed from the same philosophy, and that this philosophy is rooted in our heritage, customs and traditions, Like many of the Like many of the popular sayings circulating in our communities, which say, “If my neighbor is fine, I am fine” or “God has commanded you to look after your seventh neighbor.”
The urge to help that we feel when a person needs money or needs to get rid of a problem, and we see that everyone around them has the urge to help, even though these problems do not concern them, comes from a sense of responsibility towards society, which makes them think that everyone should be fine in order for us to be fine, and that if they are exposed to these problems one day, society will help them to get rid of them, and there’s many sayings about that in old customs and traditions.
Also, let’s remember together the “Ramadan food sharing”, which is widespread custom in the Arab world, and motivating people to help needy neighbors by providing any available food prepared at home.
And our societal work in itself stems from our sense of responsibility towards society, as community leaders, you set out towards responsibility for many of the issues that occur in your societies, which make you turn towards action, systemic thinking and positive inqury to begin responding to these issues that many suffer from.
The Ubuntu philosophy exists, but in some circumstances and during harsh periods of times, it is forgotten by individuals because of their preoccupation with many needs and their quest to meet them without taking into account the importance of human value by knowing what others need.
To survive these conditions, we need to work together as one hand and ensure that everyone will be part of this work, so that we are able to overcome these compelling conditions that we suffer from.
And because we believe in the responsibility of each community leader to develop their abilities and skills through community work, we believe that we are asking amongst ourselves.
If we all started from the philosophy of Ubuntu, how would our society be different?
What would be different in society if we all proceeded in our work out of concern for the feelings of others?
If we could think about these questions, we as community leaders would be able to notice the impact of every action we do on society as a whole and on the whole world, and we, as community leaders, must understand, think and analyze because we have a very great responsibility to return to these human values and work to promote them in society.