Baboons live in troops, because they understand that they need the support of other baboons in order to survive and thrive. There is an old Nguni proverb that says, “motho ke motho, ka batho”. This piece of wisdom means that you are only a person through other people. We would not know how to think, or walk, or speak, or behave as human beings unless we learnt it from other human beings.
I am because other people are. As we make it up the ladder of success, we sometimes think that we did it all alone. We lay claim to the accolades that attest to our greatness. And we think that we are self-made. Yet, we are not!
We think of ourselves far too frequently just as individuals, whereas we are connected and what we do affects the whole world. When we do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity. Remember where you came from, and those who helped you to get here – those nearest to you, who sacrificed as much as you – to make it all possible!
Life’s completeness and richness depends on the things we share with our loved ones and friends. Everybody deserves somebody who makes them look forward to tomorrow. Only a life lived for others is worth living. You can’t put your arms around a memory, when you are alone you become like a stone.
You are human only in relationships.
Dear Net Buddies,
Building relationships with adults in your life is a way to invest in your future because they can be references for you, coach you when you are in tough work situations, help you remember your many good qualities on the days it’s tough to do so, and share many valuable learning moments.
Who are the adults in your life that you see can help you advance to your greatest success?
What do you most enjoy about your relationship with them?
What do you think are the benefits they have from knowing you?
What do you think you can do to ensure they will want to help you in the long-term?
This is not a competition or a test. Different adults may help you in different ways so don’t worry about forgetting anyone in your responses – but don’t forget to send us your responses!
Read more about Dr. Lanette Hattingh
Purchase African Wisdom here