Sawubona: From Just a Greeting to a Common Humanity, Community

Mornings are a great time to meditate, reflect, and what better way to start a day by than by thinking of the greetings we use when we start an encounter, when we meet another. It has been shown that first impressions are important and that we make up our mind of someone in the first few seconds, so shouldn’t we make it count?

I like Sawubona, the Zulu greeting meaning, “I see you, you are important to me and I value you”. The I is a divine “I”, representing family, ancestry, an universal “We”. One responds to Sawubona with Yebo sawubona, meaning “I see you too”.

I chose Sawubona because it is unfamiliar in the circles I run in. I hope it grabs your attention. This greeting also reflects the Zulu concept of Ubuntu, a word/concept some may recognize. Ubuntu, meaning humanity, is the idea that without community a person does not exist, or “I am because we are”. It helps me better understand things like the “Truth and Reconciliation” process in South Africa after Apartheid, and the idea of reparations and what they could mean in America. By delving into why the greeting is used perhaps we can better understand this concept of Ubuntu. As this resonates and reflects from inside outwards as Sawubona and Yebo sawubona may it translate into meaningful action – critical in this time of pandemic and protests.

Incidentally, other greetings that are similar to Sawubona that more may recognize are the Hindu Namaste, or even the Hawaiian Aloha.

I do not want to reinvent the wheel so for more on Sawubona and Ubuntu two links I liked are and

For exploring Namaste and more further I quickly found and

Morning delight!

A little something I wrote today early morning in my delight.  We have been experiencing a mini drought and I suddenly heard the pitter patter, smelt the change in the air, felt the difference!


Liquid refreshment
Satiating parched earth while
Birds chirp morning songs.

Materialism Musing

When we can enjoy all these things as holy, “the world becomes a communion of subjects more than a collection of objects.” These words were said by Fr. Thomas Berry (1914–2009) who changed from theologian to geologian. For more on this epiphany of theologian to geologian, and the man himself, check out the following link:

Purpose in Life and St. Catherine of Siena

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Howard Thurman quote from the book ‘The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman: A Visionary for Our Time’

This reminded of someone who said this succinctly a lot earlier, St. Catherine of Siena, whose feast day is today. One of her famous quotes says:

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

There is a free screening of the St. Catherine of Siena movie available through the end of tomorrow, link follows, if anyone is interested in learning more about this remarkable individual: