"A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."
— Desmond Tutu

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Since I last wrote here, I've had a baby and begun law school. So, needless to say, I've been slacking on this blog. I apologize.

I still am committed to this idea- I still look for examples of ubuntu in the news, but I am afraid that I just don't have the time for the blog right now.

So, I'm putting it on hiatus. I'll be back, though. Maybe this summer....

Friday, February 3, 2012

Education, for "free"

I remember hearing that the mark of a good job is one you would "do for free." The idea being that you love it so much, and you believe that what you do is so important, that the salary is just an added bonus.

While I've often wished that I could afford to do what I want to do without having to be paid for it, I don't think this is an attainable reality for most of us. 

However, what if you didn't have a choice? What if you were not going to be paid, no matter what? Would you still work?

I stumbled across this story this morning, though I have a vague recollection of hearing about this woman, Sara Furgeson, last month during the State of the Union Address. Ms. Ferguson teaches at a low-income elementary school in Chester Upland School District in Pennsylvania. This past month, she, along with many other teachers and support staff, pledged to continue teaching and working even though the district had run out of money to pay them. Yep. They are teaching for free.

I used to be a teacher. Without a doubt, I think that education is the most valuable tool we have in making our communities, our country, and our world what we want it to be. And yet, year after year, states cut more and more from education. And, unfortunately, the schools with the most vulnerable populations, those with low-income students who are most in need of a good, free education, are the schools that seem to take the brunt of the cuts. 

Ms. Ferguson, who was recently recognized on Ellen and was invited to sit with the first lady during the State of the Union Address, simply stated, "We are adults. We will make a way. The students don't have any contingency plan. They need to be educated, so we intend to be on the job."

Read her story here:

And watch her interview on Ellen here:

February Ubuntu Challenge: Find a school in your area in need of volunteers, school supplies, or support, and give generously. 

Here are some ways to get involved:



Thursday, January 26, 2012

Doing Something

This is an older story, but I came across it while searching for stories of ubuntu today. I put it on the back burner, thinking that it was a nice story, but not as current as I would have liked.

But I couldn't stop thinking about it. While it might be "yesterday's news," the idea behind it is just as relavent today.

One woman with one idea. Most great ideas that radically change the course of history begin with one great idea. A choice, really. Do I give this man money (or even a smile...), or do I drive by? Do I let the person with the screaming baby and ten items ahead of me in line, or do I save myself three minutes? Do I see suffering and do something, or do I do nothing?

Rachel O'Neill decided to do something, and that is powerful. We are confronted so many times during the course of a single day with the opportunity to "do something;" to make a choice that might have a significant impact. Her choice resulted in something far greater than she ever imagined.

What could be the results of the choices we make? What might they become?

Read about her here:

And read about (and contribute to) her project here:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Which side are you on?

 Ahh, an election year. Nothing brings out goodwill and charity more than campaigning...
While I've been letting this blog slip lately, the upcoming avalanche of mudslinging and uninformed political rhetoric bring me back. I have to attempt to balance out what is inescapable.
Campaigns always seem to bring out the worst in people. I'm not sure if it is due to the fierce "My guy will totally beat your guy" competitiveness we Americans seem to have, or if it is because of a genuine hatred, for lack of a better word, of "the other side." In either case, it is decidedly unproductive and disheartening.
Which is why, when I heard this story about a US Naval ship crew coming to the rescue of a group of Iranians held captive by Somali pirates, I felt a twinge of relief. In this political climate in particular, so consumed are we with the idea that "the other" is the enemy that we fail to notice that "the other" is not actually different from us. This story reminds us of that fact. And while many pundits, news anchors, and commentators used the actions by the Navy to embark in some other asinine rhetoric along the lines of "That'll show 'em how superior the US is," above all, it is a demonstration of one human saving another. Period.

Which is something that we all might need to keep in mind over the course of the next eleven months.