Jona and I have wanted to have a family motto for years, and we finally found one we love!
I needed our motto to be something we could all live by, something to sum up everything we are working towards as a family.
And this is it:
This might not mean anything to you so let me share the story that it came from and it’s translation.
There was once an anthropologist studying a remote tribe in Africa. He gathered together a group of children and told them that the fastest one to a nearby tree would win a basket full of fruits and other treats.
He put them on their mark: “Ready… Set …. Go!” But instead of racing against each other they all held hands and ran to the tree together—arriving all at the same time.
As they shared their reward the Anthropologist asked them why they didn’t try to win the basket for themselves.
“Ubuntu!” They said.
In the African culture this word means ‘I am because we are.”
The children explained that “How can one of us be happy if all the others are sad?”
To them winning wasn’t worth it if they couldn’t win together.
None of us have become who we are strictly by ourselves, we all depend on each other and we can accomplish so much more if we recognize this and deliberately work as a team.
I have a hard time with team work in general. It’s hard to let go of the control of doing something myself and it’s also a bit scary to know that others are depending on me and if I mess up it effects more than just myself. So I’m trying to learn the value and practice of Ubuntu—particularly in my family.
My family is my greatest team and the place where I can feel the most ‘at one’ with others. (Except for now at the end of summer when I honestly just need everyone to go back to school and leave me alone. Ha!) Actually, it’s that introverted part of me that probably makes team work so hard!
But it is something I am working towards, and something we are working on as a family.
I’m so excited to have Ubuntu as our new family motto, I have already seen it bring us closer together as we work on our goals together and celebrate each-other’s successes and encourage one another through our failures.
Does your family have a motto?