I found the following story on Facebook. It was one of those stories that gets passed around and you never really know where it originated but regardless it struck me when I read it and I wanted to share it here.
An anthropologist showed a game to the children of an African tribe. He placed a basket of delicious fruits near a tree trunk and told them: “The first child to reach the tree will get the basket.” When he gave them the start signal, he was surprised that they were walking together, holding hands until they reached the tree and shared the fruit! When he asked them why they did that when every one of them could get the basket only for himself. They answered with astonishment: Ubuntu.“That is, how can one of us be happy while the rest are miserable?” Ubuntu in their civilization means: I am because we are. That tribe knows the secret of happiness.
Sometimes it takes a story like this to nudge me. While I am usually a very giving person and aware of others in need it does not mean that I can not learn a lesson from the story here.
Happiness comes in so many forms but I have found that I am truly the happiest when others around me are happy. It’s that ripple effect. When one small action causes more ripples of goodness it can not help but make me happy.
In the above story the children cared for one another and their response showed their compassion for one another. I know a lot of people who are truly happy when something good happens to someone else. They rejoice, like these children did, when they all reached the fruit basket together, that they could share in the happiness.
There is a lesson to be learned here today. We do not always have to be about ourselves and building ourselves up in the eyes of others. It is far more important to build each other up.