Being Generous | #MyFridayStory №191 | Leap First

In his book Sometimes There Is a Void: Memoirs of an Outsider, Zakes Mda remembers his grandmother instilling the principle of Ubuntu in them as children.

A person is a person through other people.

There’s a tale of a Hindu boy who grew up on a farm in rural India. His father had two fields. On one he planted crops and he let the other lay fallow. After school each day, the boy went outside to play in the un-ploughed field. One day as he was walking, he found a small nest of ants. They were all busy, each with their duty, hurrying around. He went onto his knees and inspected the ants closely. He watched as they built their intricate nest system underground.

He felt drawn to the ants and each day after school he ran home to check on their progress. Day after day he saw the nest expand as the colony multiplied in the perfect conditions. Spending so much time with the ants checking on their progress, he grew attached to the colony.

One night at the dinner table, his father said he was going to plough the fallow land soon. The little boy begged his father not to plough the field, but his father would have none of it. The next day after school, the little boy ran straight home and went to the nest. He stood looking at the large nest not knowing what to do. He got on his knees and started shouting at the ants to move their house. He screamed at the top of his voice, warning of the danger coming. He started crying, begging them to move or risk dying.

But the ants couldn’t hear him.

He thought, “How can I warn my friends of the danger that awaits them?” He wished he could become an ant for a while. Then he could go down and tell the other ants their home is about to be destroyed.

The African concept of Ubuntu speaks of such generosity towards each other.

Becoming more human based on others humanity.

“The more acts of generosity and compassion we receive from others, the more human we become. In return we become generous and compassionate to others, making them human as well.” We make one another human. In the process, you also become a more grounded and rounded human being.

The receiver is not the only one touched, changed, and transformed. The giver is also touched, changed, and transformed. “When you make others human, you enrich your own humanity as well.” The cycle of humanity and humanness is set in motion.

Sadly, throughout human history, we have managed to reduce the humanity and humaneness of others. If we gain humanness by being generous, by giving our resources and affirmation to others, then it is also true that we reduce our own humaneness by diminishing others.

We cannot allow this to happen or continue.

We cause hardship and injustice to others by diminishing their humanness.

Enrich, fill, and enhance your humanity through giving your unlimited generosity and kindness to others-driven by grace. Just as a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle, we grow when we give to others.

HT — Rudi Swanepoel ~ There are Three ‘u’s’ in Ubuntu

Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

Originally published at on June 4, 2021.



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