Everyday Ubuntu Book Summary - Everyday Ubuntu Book explained in key points
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Everyday Ubuntu summary

Mungi Ngomane

Living Better Together, the African Way

4.5 (211 ratings)
23 mins

Brief summary

Everyday Ubuntu by Mungi Ngomane is a collection of stories and reflections on how the African philosophy and practice of Ubuntu can guide our lives to be more mindful, compassionate, and connected with others.

Table of Contents

    Everyday Ubuntu
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    To feel true belonging, we must acknowledge humanity’s interconnectedness.

    Modern technology is a double-edged sword. It gives us access to boundless information and lets us connect with people around the globe. It also tempts us to turn our gazes onto ourselves, to build digital shrines to our lives that are worshipped with likes, shares, and retweets. And while our congregation might number in the thousands, we have never been lonelier.

    The key message here is: To feel true belonging, we must acknowledge humanity’s interconnectedness.

    Ubuntu is a South African philosophy which teaches that all humans are deeply interconnected. With respect at its foundation, it asks us to look outward, acknowledging the humanity in others. When we do this, our behavior transforms. It’s impossible to mistreat others if we recognize their inherent value. Every person we interact with becomes worthy of our respect, whether they’re our long-term partner or the postal worker delivering our mail.

    This mindset is quite different from the Western way of thinking, which pits us against each other. Our social media feeds point out all the things we lack – the things we’re told we need in order to be happy. We constantly compare our lives to friends and strangers alike, noting all the reasons why their lives are better than ours.

    Ubuntu challenges us to flip our thinking. Instead of using other people as a point of comparison, it invites us to focus instead on what someone else brings to our lives. Their contribution might be small – a stranger holding the door open for you, or huge – a loved one caring for you while you’re sick. As soon as we shift our thinking to how someone has contributed to our lives, we let go of our notions of lack and competition. By looking outward in a positive way, we start seeing how connected we are to the lives of those around us. And this sense of belonging brings us comfort.

    Connecting with those around you isn’t as difficult as you might think. A good place to start is by looking people in the eye when you interact. Try it next time you’re paying for your groceries or picking up your dry cleaning. This is a great way to have a brief but meaningful interaction with a stranger who is contributing to your life.

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    What is Everyday Ubuntu about?

    Everyday Ubuntu (2019) explains the 14 practices of ubuntu – a South African philosophy which teaches that all humans are deeply interconnected. By providing inspiring case studies and practical exercises, it illustrates how you can embrace ubuntu to deepen your connections with others and achieve greater inner tranquility.

    Everyday Ubuntu Review

    Everyday Ubuntu (2020) introduces readers to the South African philosophy of Ubuntu and how it can be applied in our daily lives. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its wisdom passed down through generations, it offers a fresh perspective on building meaningful connections and fostering empathy.
    • Through powerful stories and personal experiences, it demonstrates the transformative power of Ubuntu, inspiring readers to create a more compassionate and inclusive world.
    • The book's focus on practical exercises and actionable steps ensures that readers can effortlessly integrate Ubuntu principles into their own lives, promoting personal growth and positive change.

    Best quote from Everyday Ubuntu

    Every single person has something to offer. We simply need to have more patience or commitment in uncovering it.

    —Mungi Ngomane
    example alt text

    Who should read Everyday Ubuntu?

    • Drifters longing for meaningful connection with others
    • Seekers of inner tranquility
    • Victims of apathy looking to re-engage with their humanity

    About the Author

    Mungi Ngomane is a passionate advocate for human rights, with a particular focus on girls and women, and the protection of refugees. She has worked on initiatives addressing Islamophobia in the United States, conflict resolution in the Middle East, and the liberation of the Palestinian people. Granddaughter of renowned Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ngomane has taken up the family mantle to campaign for justice and human dignity.

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    Everyday Ubuntu FAQs 

    What is the main message of Everyday Ubuntu?

    The main message of Everyday Ubuntu is the power of interconnectedness and how it can transform our lives and the world.

    How long does it take to read Everyday Ubuntu?

    The reading time for Everyday Ubuntu varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Everyday Ubuntu a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Everyday Ubuntu is a deeply insightful and inspiring book that encourages us to embrace compassion and unity. It's definitely worth reading!

    Who is the author of Everyday Ubuntu?

    Mungi Ngomane is the author of Everyday Ubuntu.

    What to read after Everyday Ubuntu?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Everyday Ubuntu, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Winning Now, Winning Later by David M. Cote
    • Says Who? by Anne Curzan
    • Have a Beautiful, Terrible Day! by Kate Bowler
    • Welcoming the Unwelcome by Pema Chödrön
    • Chatter by Ethan Kross
    • Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg
    • A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel