We held hands. I was wondering what it would be like to have a home of your own where you could come and go, where people would be welcome, where you would never be frightened again.
∆ Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
The most common greeting in the Zulu tribe is Sawubona. It literally means “I see you, you are important to me and I value you”. It’s a way to make the other person visible and to accept them as they are with their virtues, nuances, and flaws. In response to this greeting, people usually say with “Shiboka”, which means “I exist for you”.
Natal was one of the four original provinces of South Africa. It included the Bantustan of KwaZulu, or the land of the Zulus. Most people know about it due to its famous war with Britain at the end of the 19th century. However, sometimes history books camouflage or hide things. They can relegate or disregard our cultural, human, and philosophical legacies. This is a shame, as the African culture is so fascinating.
Sawubona: All my attention is with you. I see you and I allow myself to discover your needs, to see your fears, to identify your mistakes and accept them. I accept you for what you are and you are part of me.
It is necessary to share meaning. A society is a link of relationships among people and institutions, so that we can live together. But it only works if we have a culture — which implies that we share meaning; i.e., significance, purpose, and value. Otherwise it falls apart. Our society is incoherent, and doesn’t do that very well; it hasn’t for a long time, if it ever did. The different assumptions that people have are tacitly affecting the whole meaning of what we are doing.
“And when you choose a life partner, you’re choosing a lot of things, including your parenting partner and someone who will deeply influence your children, your eating companion for about 20,000 meals, your travel companion for about 100 vacations, your primary leisure time and retirement friend, your career therapist, and someone whose day you’ll hear about 18,000 times.” — Tim Urban, Wait But Why - How to Pick Your Life Partner
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.”
― Khalil Gibran, The Prophet