A World of Interconnectedness

Have you ever noticed that the more you pay attention to something, the more it expands. From everything to getting a type of car, dog or style of clothes – once you’ve embodied it you then see it everywhere. Or was it always there to begin with?

It’s amazing what one can see when they are open their eyes to what it is they want to see.

As I’ve turned to the depths of my heart, all I can see and feel is a deep sense of interconnectedness. And because my focus has turned to connectedness, compassion and community, my friend Donna Mazzitelli passed along this amazing story, in which I’ll share with you here. It touched me greatly. This is my vision – a world in which we are always considering the whole and our interconnectedness.

“An anthropologist studying the habits and customs of an African tribe found himself surrounded by children most days. So he decided to play a little game with them. He managed to get candy from the nearest town and put it all in a decorated basket, at the foot of a tree.

Then he called the children and suggested they play the game. When the anthropologist said “now”, the children had to run to the tree and the first one to get there could have all the candy to him/herself.

So the children all lined up waiting for the signal. When the anthropologist said “now”, all of the children took each other by the hand ran together towards the tree. They all arrived at the same time divided up the candy, sat down and began to happily munch away.

The anthropologist went over to them and asked why they had all run together when any one of them could have had the candy all to themselves.

The children responded: “Ubuntu. How could any one of us be happy if all the others were sad?”

***

Ubuntu is a philosophy of African tribes that can be summed up as “I am what I am because of who we all are.”

Bishop Desmond Tutu gave this explanation in 2008 :

“One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.”

Originally Seen on: The Universal One

I now leave with you with this quote…

“One day you will ask me which is more important? My life or yours? I will say mine and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life.” Kahlil Gibran

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this story and ubuntu…

If this type of story, interconnectedness and spirit of community speaks to you – be sure to join us for the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium on 5/11.

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Comments

  1. Hi Andrea,
    THAT was a good post. Thanks for sharing that.

  2. Andrea – You and Donna Mazzitelli outdid yourselves with this one! This speaks n to the human spirit at the deepest level. As a business coach, I see many who have forgotten this truth which is what makes business “hard”. Once you remember the truth and you operate in abundance, everyone gets the “candy” and is truly happy!!

  3. Andrea,

    You are a beautiful human being. Thank you for always sharing!

    I loved the story!

    When I was a child, I would always reach out to the other children to work as a team. Not always did the children I would ask want to join “hands.” I never understood why. Typically though, at least one kiddo would want to be united as one. I would accept their hand but on the inside would feel disappointed and not understand why the others would want to achieve the goal alone when there is strength, creativity and energy in numbers. I would notice those children were often the bully or the unhappy child and I still wanted to include them. I would go out of my way to convince them to join me. I wanted them to feel loved. What is interesting is the shadow side of my desire for them to feel loved is I also wanted them to love me. Ahhhh, both sides of my life’s work!

    Love to you!

    • Thank you Hailey. Yes, some people (and children) get this from the start – others have to learn a new way of being and thinking… let’s share that way with anyone who wants to learn!

  4. Such a cool story Andrea. It’s an amazing contrast to think that the default in much of Western culture is set to “winning means beating someone else” whereas there are many examples in other cultures of “winning means everyone wins.”

    Paul Pearsall, in his book Toxic Success, notes the Hawaiian model of excellence called po’okela, which refers to a philosophy of success through shared values instead of personal objectives. Like the philosophy of ubuntu, it’s based in a “collectivist” culture that doesn’t put value on the Western focus on personal, individualistic priorities as the model for a successful life.

    If we entertain the idea that everything is one and interconnected, while at the same time noting that we live with this ego-based idea that we are separate, it begs the question of whether the ubuntu and po’okela ideals hit closer to the truth.

    • There are so many amazing lessons we can learn from other populations, thanks for adding this one into my awareness. Can’t wait to learn more about it!

  5. Just loved that story! Thanks for sharing it with us and for embracing interconnectedness.

  6. Melinda Anderson says:

    I always love your writing and really loved the message conveyed in the story here and the quote. I can imagine and dream that being a way of life for all of us. Thank you for sharing your heart!

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