TED Talk Tuesday – Chris Abani: On Humanity

Author and poet Chris Abani, shares personal stories of humanity and connection. He recalls his feminist Mother, a former child solider, a priest, and a fellow prison inmate. Abani argues that we can only really see ourselves when seeing others; the South African philosophy of “Ubuntu.” “So what Ubuntu really says is that there is no way for us to be human without other people.” Enjoy!

But what I’ve come to learn is that the world is never saved in grand messianic gestures, but in the simple accumulation of gentle, soft, almost invisible acts of compassion, everyday acts of compassion. In South Africa, they have a phrase called Ubuntu. Ubuntu comes out of a philosophy that says, the only way for me to be human is for you to reflect my humanity back at me.

 “You know, you can steel your heart against any kind of trouble, any kind of horror. But the simple act of kindness from a complete stranger will unstitch you.”


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