An African proverb says: ‘If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together,’ and in Year-5-The-Parliament-of-Owls-class, writing from my desk at home on the first Saturday of half-term, it certainly feels that we have worked together, tirelessly for the positive,
supportive, culture of the class.
There is another African influence that has broken into my life having lived in Kenya and Egypt, and that is the word ‘Ubuntu’ used in central and east Africa. ‘A person, is a person, through other persons’ – Or ‘I am because you are.’ It does not translate fully into English because our language has less words or profound definitions for the word community, but it means something like – The way I am affects the way you are and affects the greater whole as well, in a complete way. So, in practice this is close to; ‘If my crop fails, I am affected, my family is affected, you are affected, yet we thrive because we support each other without limit.’ And that ends up in singing, dancing and eating together; fellowship is our closest word to this –at least regarding eating together, which is perhaps at its best around a table, sharing life and
telling our stories.
Stop. Stay there a while. Gather together. Light the fire. Look up.
Ubuntu – ‘My life is caught up in your life, you; fully alive, so am I.’ We go together, not as a collective of egos but as a community, building one another up for something higher, greater. Look up. We human beings like to think that we are the top of the food chain, the most advanced, the ever-so-civilised but there is more. How can we apply Ubuntu more in each other’s lives, family, this community of Learners?
Maybe today – stand back from your life for a while; have a Winnie-The-Pooh moment and think:
- Where is your Heart?
- What can you do for Others?
- What is your Purpose?
- Are you living, Enjoying life to the full?
Look up, there is a higher way – be more Ubuntu!
Our fabulous Year 5 class pursues this greater vision by: Motivational Monday – writing encouragements to each other first thing on a Monday morning, positive notes and quotes – discussing them and taking them to heart by enacting them, looking after the rainforest in the class including ‘Spike’ our Venus fly trap; being ourselves but in community – loved and accepted, signing up to the Springmead Way, looking out for each other, gathering around the fire and sharing our stories.
We go together.