March 2020

Founder Reflections: COVID-19

BLOG / Founder Reflections: COVID-19

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Zane Wilemon

Co-Founder & Executive Director


What rapid change we are all experiencing, especially these last few days with the canceling of events, flights, schools, etc. Many are saying that it is only the beginning. I read recently that the current death toll and infection rates are as follows, 4,965 people have died so far from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak and there are currently 134,209 confirmed cases in 125 countries and territories. These are very real numbers of very real lives, loved ones, sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers and children.  

It is during pivotal times such as these, that we see even more powerfully, the realities that we are all connected, an interdependent global community. This is no longer a China virus, or an outbreak in Italy, but a worldwide pandemic that is painfully reminding us just how connected we all are. This truth of being connected is something that we at Ubuntu Life live into on a regular basis. It is, afterall, the meaning of Ubuntu, "I am because we are." Sadly it is often when we are sick that we most appreciate our health. When we lose a loved one, that we most value their presence. And when there is a worldwide pandemic, that we begin to understand just how in need of each other we truly are.

Nelson Mandela said it best, “In Africa there is a concept known as 'ubuntu' – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievement of others.” Now more than ever we need to start living out these truths of our being human only through the humanity of others; the countless aid workers, medical professionals and helpers that are tending to the sick and the needy. May we contribute in our own way by offering prayers, by abstaining from behaviors that could put ourselves and others at risk, and by choosing to embrace the reality of these times as they are. It is time to pool together, to become more aware of our interconnectedness and to appreciate that fragile reality in our daily choices and actions.

At Ubuntu, we will continue with business as usual, paying close attention to the latest news coverage and making wise choices for our future and the future of those we serve, both our beneficiaries in Kenya and our customers abroad. We will be in touch with all of our volunteers who are planning to travel to Kenya with us in the approaching summer months and let you know the latest updates. For now we are taking it one day at a time, exercising caution and will continue to communicate with our community, our Tribe.

We are all in this together. We are ONE. Let us live into that oneness united. Sending our love to all of you.

Big love,

Zane & the Ubuntu Life team

A Poem by Gutpreet Gill

What if…

There is so much fear, and perhaps rightfully so, about COVID-19.

And, what if…

If we subscribe to the philosophy that life is always working out for us, that there is an intelligence far greater than humans at work…

That all is interconnected.

What if…

the virus is here to help us?

To reset.

To remember.

What is truly important.

Reconnecting with family and community.

Reducing travel so that the environment, the skies, the air, our lungs all get a break.

Parts of China are seeing blue sky and clouds for the first time in forever with the factories being shut down.

Working from home rather than commuting to work (less pollution, more personal time).

Reconnecting with family as there is more time at home.

An invitation to turn inwards — a deep meditation — rather than the usual extroverted going out to self-soothe.

To reconnect with self — what is really important to me?

A reset economically.

The working poor. The lack of healthcare access for over 30 million in the US. The need for paid sick leave.

How hard does one need to work to be able to live, to have a life outside of work?

And, washing our hands — how did that become a “new” thing that we needed to remember. But, yes, we did.

The presence of Grace for all.

There is a shift underway in our society — what if it is one that is favorable for us?

What if this virus is an ally in our evolution?

In our remembrance of what it means to be connected, humane, living a simpler life, to be less impactful/ more kind to our environment.

An offering from my heart this morning. Offered as another perspective. Another way of relating to this virus, this unfolding, this evolution.

It was time for a change, we all knew that.

And, change has arrived.

What if…



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