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Knight Reading 2023-2024: Everyday Ubuntu

Put Yourself in the Shoes of Others

Lesson 3 challenges us to consider an issue or interaction from someone else's perspective. Here, ubuntu "encourages us to drop our judgments and embrace compassion and understanding" (p. 47). In examining from someone else's perspective, it also means we are challenged to look beyond the initial incident or interaction but into the causality of it. This does not absolve us from responsibility or the consequences of our actions but does challenge us to consider things more broadly.

  • In what situations, big or small, could you have benefited from more thoughtfully considering someone else's perspective?
  • Have there been situations in which your perspective was not more thoughtfully considered? Would the outcome have been different if it had?
  • Are there limits to engaging in understanding a different perspective?

Additional Context

In the United Kingdom, the Tutu Foundation also promotes the work of ubuntu in the work of conflict resolution. As a part of these efforts, their Conversations for Change program includes training and facilitation in conflict management to help foster productive conversations within communities. 

Lesson 3 also discusses the life and death of Amy Biehl, whose family went on to found what is now the Amy Foundation that serves as a non-profit against violence and working to support efforts in restorative justice. 

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