Having somebody to throw a baseball with as a young boy.
Having a sweet brown eyed girl to listen to on the other end of the phone line. Having a family to squeeze around a small kitchen table.
It really does not get much better than that.
I am not sure who instilled this philosophy into me, but the importance of choosing good friends because you become like your friends was something I can remember hearing often as a child. In many ways this is true.
You will not always support the same sports team,
delight in the same books or enjoy the same foods
but you will develop a desire to love and help them
and the things they are most passionate about.
Maxton, Deacon, and Rohan, this is why it is important to choose your friends wisely. If you choose friends that seek status, pleasure, comfort and a carefree life those will be the things you seek. There is nothing wrong with seeking to improve yourself. I am not saying do not seek to become a better employee, boss, husband, father, or citizen.Work hard at those things; be excellent at all that you do.
What I want you to think about is why.
Why do you want to succeed?
Do you want to succeed so that you can have a comfortable life?
Do you want to succeed so that you have a nice family?
Do you want to succeed so that you are respected?
Do you want to succeed so that you feel like your life has meaning?
You may have wondered why I started out talking about friendship and it would seem like I just switched to a different subject.
What I want you to see is that your desires
for personal growth, success, and meaning
are not wrong
but should be intricately connected
to friendship and community.
When people use their time, talents and treasures to better all others in their community then life can become beautiful.
A part of doing community life well is give, for sure, but it is also being able to receive from that community as well.
“A person is a person through other persons. None of us comes into the world fully formed. We would not know how to think, or walk, or speak, or behave as human beings unless we learned it from other human beings. We need other human beings in order to be human. I am because other people are. A person is entitled to a stable community life, and the first of these communities is the family.” -Desmond Tutu
Notice, Desmond says that we "need others" in order to be human. You need to receive from people.
help, care, love, laughter, joy, support,
gifts, healing, conversation, smiles,
food, a place to rest, acceptance....
When you receive you show that you are in need, that you are not just some kind of god that needs nothin-from-nobody.
When you receive you are enriched and in return you can enrich others lives around you. Ubuntu is cyclical. When somebody is helped they in return desire to help.
Give, yes! Give generously of your heart, soul, mind and being to those in your community. Lavish others with goodness. Seek to become the best you can so that you can give the best away. But also, find friends that do the same and stay close, receive from them. Don't let them go. If circumstances take them away, stay close in whatever way you can. You will become like the people you love the most and if your closest friends are seeking Ubuntu, you will too.
UBUNTU : Respectful, helpfulness, sharing, community, caring, trust, unselfishness