February is the Valentine month. While we usually think of Valentine’s Day as a celebration of romantic love or even deep love between close friends, for me, it has always been a celebration of Love within a much larger context.
Ubuntu is an African idea or concept of deep connection and relationship. It literally means “I am because you are.” Or, in wildlife activist Boyd Varty’s words, “People are not people without other people.” He goes on to say, “We get to experience the deepest parts of our humanity through our interactions with others.” It is through our engagement with others that we discover ourselves. We can only fully experience who we are at our essence by being in relationship to others and the world around us. Through our relationships with the world around us, we can learn the greater meaning of Love as the creative and sustaining force behind all that serves and supports us.
This month at the Center For Transformational Presence we celebrate the concept of Ubuntu by celebrating heroes of the heart. While there are many heroes of the heart that all the world recognizes and admires—Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, to name a few—there are millions of “heart heroes” all around the globe who most of us never hear of. This month we share some of those lesser-known stories.
Boyd Varty is a wildlife activist and fourth-generation custodian of the Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa. In his both humorous and deeply moving 15-minute TEDWomen 2013 talk below, he introduces the concept of Ubuntu through personal stories of life on the game reserve.
When Boyd Varty was a child, Nelson Mandela came to spend time at the Londolozi Game Reserve just after being released from prison. Boyd served him breakfast every morning and got to know this great man. As it happened, he delivered this TEDx talk just hours after Nelson Mandela died. In the moment, he titled his talk, “What I Learned From Nelson Mandela” and dedicated the talk to him. Enjoy the video.
P.S. If you are inspired by Boyd Varty’s story, you might be interested in his forthcoming book, Cathedral of the Wild: An African Journey Home. It is available for pre-order now on amazon.com, both in hardcopy and digital format. I’m looking forward to reading it.
If you enjoyed this blog post and found it helpful or inspiring, I invite you to subscribe to our free weekly newsletter by clicking here.