Ubuntu – an African word for a universal concept. Ubuntu is the potential for being human, to value the good of the community above self interest
We need to see our differences as assets rather than barriers. A concept that seems so simple yet we still are not there yet. I am frustrated – trying to grasp the bigger picture of why that is. We are all human, aren’t we?
As I try everyday to get to know people for who they are, a sense of guilt clouds my head. Guilty for the color of my skin/background and how automatically that gives me a leg up in society, more opportunities, easier access to education, etc.
In about two weeks, I am going to start my job as a City Year New York AmeriCorps member, working at a low income school in Queens. With one of week of training under my belt, I began to quickly realize that I can not come from a place of guilt when helping children. It wouldn’t be fair. I can imagine that some of the students will act out – coming from a place of anger. Hopefully, I can help the students I work with to not only be aware of and understand their feelings, but to understand that acting out in anger is not a good strategy. Respect for one another offers a better way to communicate and be heard. It won’t be easy.
We may never get a clear answer to why there is so much injustice, but being mindful of injustice and keeping an open mind, may put us on the path to reducing it.
A lot of times we, including me, tend to focus on what we are going to say rather than listening to what the other person is saying. Next time you find yourself having a difficult conversation, try to listen and reflect on what that person is saying rather than making an immediate response.
“Disagree with ideas, not people” – City Year Staff