We're Connected - Ubuntu

We're Connected - Ubuntu

We must focus on what bring us together.
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Last week I wrote about Making Empathy Great Again to start a conversation about how we all could be a bit more understanding and compassionate to those we come in contact with. This week I think it would be good for us to consider the ways in which we are different, yet all connected.

A word I was introduced to a few years back is Ubuntu it comes from the South African language known as Zulu and has been introduced to many by Bishop Desmond Tutu. The meaning of Ubuntu is often translated as the universal bond which connects all of humanity to one another, at its most basic definition it means “I am because we are”, the notion that we are universally connected and that we what connects us is much greater than what divides us.

I think about all of the things that I have found in common with others that have created friendships and realize the many things that we don’t have in common as well. I have plenty of friends that I don’t agree with on many topics but we have always been able to find commonality in some form and when we have conversations about those things that divide us we have been able to respectfully listen and disagree, which is becoming a foreign concept, so allow me to give us all permission to have friendships with those who don’t agree with us and also see the humanity in those who are different from us.

Now, back Ubuntu and what it means for us in a social climate that suggests we are not connected. We are connected through friendships, hobbies, book groups, causes that we care about, and our moral compasses that suggest we do good and treat others with respect. One place that I have found a common ground and place that reminds me how I am connected to all is the communion table in my church it reminds me that which unites us is much greater than that which divides us!

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.
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Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.


Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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Sometimes It's Better Not To Stress So Hard About An Exam And Spend More Time Doing Something You Love

Like spending time with friends or doing something you're passionate about... or taking a random trip to New Jersey.

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We all know academics are important and education is one of the most valued commodities in our world. But, sometimes it is okay to distract yourself from the grind of studying. It's okay to take a mental health break and do something on the total opposite side of the spectrum from education.

What most college-age kids don't think about anymore is how the stress of college impacts their mental health. They think pulling all-nighters and staying awake solely by caffeine isn't an issue.

"It's a part of the college experience."

"Everyone has to do it at some point."

WRONG.

Knowing when enough is enough, and when to stop is an important part of growing up. Your body can only handle so much at a time. It's been proven over and over again that cramming isn't an effective way of studying, yet kids still do it. It's time to learn from our mistakes and focus a little bit more on our own health.

Take a mental health break, PLEASE.

Get a few hours of sleep. Watch a movie to let your mind relax. Sit in the sunshine and soak up the sun. Find some friends to make dinner with. Do something other than study for an hour or two. It's not going to kill you.

GPAs are important, I agree with that. But there are a few things more important than your grades, and one of those is your health.

So as this finals season comes to a close, think about ways to improve your studying next semester. Avoid all-nighters and living off of Starbucks (regardless of how great it is), and start putting yourself as your number one priority. When you do that right, your grades will follow suit.

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