Kevin in Liberia

Its Purpose: to raise awareness of current social, political, ethical, and spiritual issues within a relief and development context in Liberia. Its effectiveness is simple: It relies on me, the author, to provide insightful, and often debate-sparking material that will encourage you, the reader to get engaged through comment contributions, emails, and promoting others to read, re-think, and respond to the important issues discussed.

I know not which is most profitable to me, health or sickness, wealth or poverty, nor anything else in the world. That discernment is beyond the power of men or angels, and is hidden among the secrets of your Providence, which I adore, but do not seek to fathom. ~ a prayer by Blaise Pascal

Monday, August 06, 2007

The South African Concept of 'Ubuntu' - Present in Liberia

While conversing with Thomas Moore, a recently laid off 71 yr old Liberian National Police Officer of 49 years, I was informally introduced to the African concept of Ubuntu on a very real level. As we talked about life in Liberia and the past glories of the picturesque rural fishing village of Robertsport, it was immediately very evident to me that this sound character carried higher morals and values than your average urbanite living in the capital city of Monrovia. When asked what he did with all his spare time he now had, he proceeded to tell me that he loved to fish – in a location where the Atlantic Ocean meets Lake Piso. Without any further probing he continued to explain that when he sold the fish to a fortunate customer, Liberian or foreigner, his aim was not to attain the highest possible retail value for his commodity but rather to sell it at such a price as to maximize the best interests of all parties of the transaction. “If I sell my fish at a higher price to a white man, I can feel bad inside,” he admitted. This was Ubuntu experienced in its riches form. Thomas Moore obtains self-satisfaction by maximizing the feelings of others - an amazing concept.

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3 Comments:

  • At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Kevin!
    This blog is awesome - I've enjoyed the read and the affirmation that I was not the only one to have my face rocked off in S.Africa at the residency.

    Next week I will have a chance to teach some folks about what I learned in Africa this summer. Is it okay if I use this fisherman's story? And maybe even quote your blog? I promise to give you credit. :)

    And the roaches, well, that's just gross. Thanks for sharing. :-p

    Lauren

     
  • At 8:48 AM, Blogger Kevin Aja Fryatt said…

    Hey Lauren,

    Thanks. I wish I had more time to dedicate to the blog but between work, school and my girlfriend, the blog seems to get pushed to a distant 4th or 5th on the priorities list. Its a shame because its mighty fun to share with you all.

    I hope school has lowered to a mangagable level. Its definately a little lighter than the pre-res thats for sure!

    Kev.

     
  • At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Russell said…

    Thanks for the illustrated example of what Ubuntu means. Your site, and your life, both seem extraordinary. All the best.

     

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