Everyday Ubuntu Book Summary By Mungi Ngomane

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The Everyday Ubuntu book (2019) is a must-have for those wanting to tap into the rich traditions and practices of the South African philosophy of ubuntu.

The book provides comprehensive information on the 14 ubuntu principles, while also offering intriguing case studies to illustrate how one can live out these ideals in their daily lives.

You will gain insight into how embracing and living out the philosophy of ubuntu can help strengthen relationships with others and cultivate a greater sense of inner peace.

Everyday Ubuntu also challenges readers with a series of practical exercises designed to reinforce its teachings and empower them to begin applying the principles right away.

Everyday Ubuntu Book

Book Name: Everyday Ubuntu (Living Better Together, the African Way)

Author(s): Mungi Ngomane

Rating: 4.5/5

Reading Time: 23 Minutes

Categories: Personal Development

Author Bio

Mungi Ngomane is a woman of immense passion, who puts her focus into advocating for human rights and the protection of refugees, especially those related to women and girls.

Her tireless work on numerous initiatives has made an impact in the US, concerning Islamophobia; the Middle East, in terms of conflict resolution; and Palestine, where she is working hard on its liberation.

The granddaughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu—one of the most renowned figures in modern history—Ngomane is continuing in his footsteps by campaigning for justice and human dignity around the world.

Discover How Ubuntu Can Transform Your Life And Deepen Connections With Others


Ever felt disconnected and flat at the end of the day, thinking life is simply “what it is”? Well, there’s a way to increase your connectedness with others and find more meaning in life without having to make job transitions or move elsewhere.

That way is ubuntu – a South African philosophy emphasizing that we are all deeply interconnected.

The Everyday Ubuntu book provides many examples of how this subtle concept can make a significant difference in our lives.

From the story of how a priest’s simple gesture inspired future Nobel Laureate Nelson Mandela to his decision to invite his former prison guard to his presidential inauguration dinner, everyday ubuntu allows us to reconnect with the intrinsic value of humanity and realize that we’re not alone in facing our struggles.

Simply put, by understanding and practicing ubuntu, we learn how to engage more deeply with each other and build meaningful relationships that hold us together for years to come.

Acknowledge Humanity’S Interconnectedness To Experience True Belonging

The Ubuntu philosophy encourages us to recognize the interconnectedness of humanity and feel a deep sense of belonging.

By looking outward and acknowledging the humanity in others, our behavior and attitudes change.

This is quite different from the traditional Western worldview that creates a sense of competition among people.

Social media makes it easy to compare our lives to others, pointing out all the things we don’t have or think we need in order to be happy.

However, Ubuntu teaches us to focus on how someone has contributed positively to our lives, instead of tearing each other down in comparison.

It might be something small like a stranger holding the door open for you or something larger like a loved one caring for you when you’re sick.

Building strong connections with those around us isn’t as hard as it may seem either – simply looking someone in the eye when interacting can help establish meaningful relationships with strangers who are contributing to your life.

By recognizing how connected we all are, humans can find comfort and belonging through our shared humanity despite physical distance.

Understanding Others Through Ubuntu: Looking Beyond Our Preconceived Ideas To Find Compassion And Clarity

“In order to make meaningful connections with others, you have to try to view things from their perspective,” is a theme that weaves its way through Mungi Ngomane’s Everyday Ubuntu.

This philosophy famously implies that we must put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and understand why they may think or behave differently than us before responding.

Ngomane gives us an example of her mother faced with a situation where she saw the daily poverty of black townships compared to the riches in white communities during apartheid.

Her mother could have felt justified in blaming these privileged whites for the injustice, but instead slow down and reflect on what life might be like for them.

What would happen if she too was part of this society, if she had been raised believing in white supremacy? Would she be willing to compromise her own advantages?

This same idea can also be found in Ngomanes’ undergraduate experience where some jewelry went missing from her housemate’s room.

She was outraged, but consulting with her mother helped her recognize that jumping to assume the worst wouldn’t resolve anything and give any closure – it might even make things worse between them.

Call a meeting and let your housemate speak for themselves; don’t assume they are just “the thief”.

Through this process, they actually revealed that they were struggling with bulimia and impulse control which allowed their housemates help them out properly in their time of need.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to understanding other people’s perspectives rather than assuming based on preconceived ideas or beliefs.

Giving people back their humanity helps everyone gain peace within themselves; it allows us to realize how someone’s actions often have nothing to do with us personally, but has more to do with individual circumstances.

Respect: The Key To Reconnecting With Our Humanity


Respecting others has been hailed as one of the most powerful gifts a person can give another, as it reconnects us with our shared humanity on a very deep level.

This can be seen in an encounter between Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and white priest Trevor Huddleston.

When Huddleston raised his hat in respect to Tutu’s mother as they passed, he showed that not all white people treat black people badly.

This simple and small gesture had a profound effect on Tutu, as he realised before then that this wasn’t likely the case.

In showing respect to others regardless of race, religion or any other distinction, we also honour our own humanity.

Respect is the keystone of ubuntu and plays an important part in fostering self-care – such as taking regular lunch breaks at work – and treating others with compassion.

An example of this is Nelson Mandela, who was known for his respectful interactions with prison guard Christo Brand despite their stark differences in views.

Through connecting over common ground, Mandela was able to create a bond between them which ultimately led to Brand’s changing perspective about apartheid.

By paying close attention to our language – avoiding stereotypes and responding with openness – we increase the chances for respectful conversations , allowing us to recognise the value of each individual and rediscover our common humanity.

The Power Of Hope: How It Can Help Us Endure Challenging Times

Hope is a powerful emotion which can help us to endure challenging experiences.

It’s something we can choose to maintain at all times, and it is much different than optimism.

While optimism focuses on belief that a certain situation or outcome will happen, hope looks towards having faith in the future regardless of the situation.

Adopting hope as a state of being can have long-lasting effects even through difficult times.

Studies have shown that children living in poverty are more likely to succeed in life if they maintain a hopeful attitude despite their poor health, limited resources, and gang involvement.

This hopeful attitude gives them the strength to keep going and create a better future for themselves.

In order to embrace hope as part of your life, take notice of any negative mental chatter you may be experiencing.

Work on turning it into positive reinforcement such as replacing “It’s pointless” with “It’s possible”.

Additionally, writing down what you’re grateful for allows you to appreciate life more and also makes it easier for you to remain hopeful in difficult times.

Lastly, self-care activities provide an opportunity for you reduce stress that comes with challenging experiences and ultimately helps you adopt hope as part of your mentality permanently.

The Power Of Forgiveness: How Acknowledging Others’ Humanity Can Help Us Heal

In Everyday Ubuntu by Ingrid Von Stein, the central message is that to start the process of forgiveness you must acknowledge the humanity of your offender.

This difficult task can be made easier if your realization that they are a person just like you, who is fighting and struggling in their own way with some of life’s hardships.

Ingrid herself experienced this when she was violently attacked by four men.

Despite her deep emotional wounds, she discovered that her assailants had grown up in poverty with abusive parents and could relate to them on a personal level.

It was then that she began to forgive them and showed mercy instead of vengeance.

Her experience proves the power and importance of understanding the humanity at play when we’re wronged by another.

In summary, forgiving someone starts with understanding that we are all human and have our own unique burden we bear throughout our lives.

When this perspective is taken, it allows us to reconnect with others despite any pain or hurt that has been felt in order for us to heal ourselves emotionally.

Embrace Diversity: Appreciate The Variety Of Strengths, Values, And Points Of View Shared By People Across Our Species


When it comes to diversity, we often feel uncomfortable or threatened by those who are different from us.

But embracing our differences and recognizing that all humans come with their own unique talents, histories and viewpoints is a much more powerful – and productive – way to look at things.

The concept of Ubuntu encourages us to approach people with openness and respect, understanding that everyone has something valuable to offer the world.

We must acknowledge that each individual is of equal worth, no matter who they are.

There is a real power in taking our egos out of the equation so that we can be humble enough to learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Examples like Tunisia’s Dialogue Quartet prove just how powerful diversity can be if properly embraced.

This quartet was made up of individuals from four vastly different organizations and helped promote peace where even politicains had failed – an incredible accomplishment that earned them a Nobel Peace Prize!

We Must Face Reality To Embrace Our Lives And Move Forward; Archbishop Tutu’S Compassionate Response Inspires Us To Reach Out And Deepen Our Connections

If we want to move forward and really heal, then we need to be brutally honest about where we are.

We must acknowledge our mistakes, hardships, successes and joys and accept them for what they are.

Tell ourselves the truth about who we are and start being honest with ourselves.

This is no small task and it can be tempting to just ignore our reality instead of showing us as vulnerable.

That’s why Archbishop Tutu proposed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, which was aimed at acknowledging the atrocities of apartheid.

Through this process, people have become more comfortable discussing the painful parts of their pasts, because the other participants listened empathetically and showed them understanding.

Simply sharing one’s pain with another person can bring some comfort in times of grief.

Science has even discovered that when you witness acts of harm towards others your own brain stimulates as though you yourself were feeling that pain!

This ability illustrates how connected we all are-we’re not alone in life’s struggles-and if we embrace that connection it’ll be easier for us to reach out for help when we need it most.

In order to fully occupy our lives, it is essential that we face reality head on-no matter how difficult it may seem-so that we can truly heal from our struggles.

Don’t deny your experiences but embrace them so you can move forward instead of wallowing in doubt or denial.

The Value Of Listening With An Open Mind And Heart: A Guide To Practicing Ubuntu


When we listen deeply to someone else, it is an act of respect.

But it isn’t just about assessing the value of another person – it provides us with personal growth too!

Listening in this way requires us to invest time and effort.

It means really paying attention and giving our full attention, even when every voice around us feels like too much white noise.

We must look someone in the eye, use open body language and ask clarifying questions if needed.

But what makes listening so hard isn’t necessarily those things – it’s silencing our own opinions long enough to actually hear another perspective.

Whenever we practice ubuntu, a concept that encourages humans to accept one another’s similarities as well as their differences, this process of learning becomes more natural.

When we actively listen to others without judgement or fear of repercussion, our minds expand beyond bias and understanding can grow from everyone involved.

Even if the conversation has no immediate relevance or application to our lives, picking out truths and common connections between people not only boosts self-awareness but also reinforces the inherent worthiness of the person speaking – something we often take for granted in everyday moments.

Services such as Samaritans leveraging this concept by providing listeners 24/7 helps validate unspoken feelings that need safety valves to communicate effectively.

At its core, deep listening is how we become more compassionate and open-minded individuals.

As our own sense of empathy develops with each exchange where we actively listen to someone else’s story, through connection and assimilation – we broaden our horizon which ultimately adds value to creating a positive change in ourselves and others alike.

Wrap Up

The Everyday Ubuntu book reminds us of the power of humanity.

When we recognize that we are all connected, regardless of our differences, it changes our perspective and helps us to treat each other with respect.

We can foster this mindset by allowing ourselves to experience the lighter moments of life – laughter is a great way to connect with people and make positive connections in difficult times.

By embracing our shared humanity, we can reach peace and find true belonging.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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