Book Review – Ubuntu, I am because we Are

Some people are meant to enter your life at certain points in time to either change the direction of your life or to reinforce the path. Krishnan and I call these as the nudges from the Universe. This book Ubuntu, is one such nudge !

We were to meet Murali, the author of the book a couple of years back because a common friend of ours Shashaank, (Co-Founder V-Shesh) had told us about the “Children of Krishnagiri”. I don’t know why we didn’t drive over to Krishnagiri at that time but we didn’t.

For my birthday this year, Vidya had sent over three books. One of them was Ubuntu. She knows I read mostly on Kindle, but something made her send this book to me. Maybe it was through her that the Universe was nudging us :):). I started reading the book and was deeply moved … Where do you find someone who goes out of their way to help “ANYONE” ? Well, you just have to visit Bangalore or Krishnagiri and meet Murali. He just helps anyone, without saying “no”.

Ubuntu – the African Philosophy

I had read the following story and variations of it several times … it never failed to touch me deeply.

Ubuntu

I am because we are, indeed.

Some excerpts from the book –

” ….

Problem: A relative did not have money to get his daughter married.

Solution: You can use my 500 Sq Ft home to conduct the wedding.

Problem: A pallbearer was missing at the funeral of a friend.

Solution: My son will carry the coffin and help with the cremation. ”

This was Murali’s father and I had/have tears in my eyes as I read it again because that’s precisely what my dad and father-in-law would say. Word for word. Or even my mother-in-law and Padmasini Periyamma and my maternal grandfather… My mother-in-law has got folks married off when her own family was struggling. Appa would always say “you can miss a wedding, but never a funeral”. The whole street turned up to say goodbye when Padmasini Periyamma passed away.

Excerpt 2 – from page number 57.

Murali asks Vidyaakar (founder of Udavum Karangal) as he drops him off at the station in Coimbatore “Where do you find the money to manage all of this?”. Vidyaakar replies “If your heart is in helping those in need, the universe will take over!”. This totally resonates with me. Krishnan and I keep saying that most NGOs find money to be their biggest constraint, but for ShikshaDaan, it is not, because we believe the Universe will provide and IT DOES.

The best statement in the entire book is –

“.. Never walk away when you see people in trouble. Move out of your fear zone and keep going! You will emerge on the other side of life, a full human being.”

All I can say is, Murali, thanks for writing Ubuntu. This will be a nudge for many people who are out there wanting to help others but are worried if they can or if they should. All the do-gooders who are on the fence will tip over to doing good :). And its a reinforcement for people like Shashaank and us who are on the path.

Everyone, please read the book and take the plunge – I am because we are.

Ubuntu

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