During Saturday's Save the Frogs Day celebration, frogs from all over the world assembled in Land of Lily Pad to learn what is happening in the fight to save our species from extinction. Big frogs and little toads, red and blue poisonous frogs, sand frogs, flying frogs, and even common green frogs, like me, all coming together for a single, shared cause. For one day, it didn't matter what color the frog next to us was, it didn't matter where they lived, or what they ate. No. We were a united band of amphibians, knowing that the plight of one was the plight of all. The sight was inspiring!
The idea of Ubuntu has been around for eons, but President Nelson Mandela, in the 1990's, showed the world how to use Ubuntu. He famously said, "In Africa there is a concept known as ubunto - the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievements of others." These powerful words made me stop and think about ubuntu in our everyday life.
Ever notice how humans rally together whenever is a major tragedy or catasphrope? Nothing brings people together like devastation and loss of life. And there's plenty of both these days. War, street violence, terrorism, floods, forest fires, air and water pollution, climate change, and earthquakes can make us feel as though the world is coming to an end. But is it really?
All one has to do is turn on the nightly news to get a mega-dose of all the negativity that abounds in the world every day. What you don't her about, however, are the thousands, maybe millions, of unsung heroes practicing ubuntu in their daily lives. These include doctors, teachers, researchers, economists, political and spiritual leaders, and everday common people who work tirelessly to help the world become a better place. What do these people know that others do not? They have learned that the human population has shared goals and visions. They've learned that working together to further these goals and visions benefits everyone...even the haters and the doubters.
If each person practiced living in community, great things can happen. But to make this work, humans must be willing to take the first small step. Mandela believed that hatred is learned. And that anything learned can be unlearned. But someone must be willing to take that first hop...to extend that flipper in peace. The world appears be in peril. But looks can be deceiving. I believe that the simple, little African word UBUNTU can be our saving grace. I encourage each of you to try living in community for day or a week; go ahead and try it on for size. It really is a one-size-fits-all concept. It's comfortable, too! It's a cloak of many colors, of many textures, and of many fabrics...all woven together, seamlessly, to help human (and animal) kind live a more fully interegrated, peaceful and loving life.