Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bob the Builder Award: The idea of Ubuntu and Rick Rescorla

Just finished reading about Nelson Mandela.  What a guy.  If half of what I read was true, then what a pleasure to know a fella like this is running around the world.

Ubuntu is the African idea that we are all-interconnected, even if we are not related by blood.  That we have a "brotherhood" that is shared. 

"It comes from the Zulu proverb Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu which is often translated as "A person is a person through other people." 

Nelson believes in it.  So do I.  So did Rick.  Rick?

We used to live with Mr. Fun's grandmother when we were first married.  She was born in Ceylon (Sri Lanka now).  She wasn't east indian, she was a British colonist.  She had a perfect British accent and would never be caught dead eating food from a teaspoon.  She had matching handbag and shoes, and always wore a perfect bun at the nape of her neck. 

I was always amazed that she was so loyal to the United States.  She married the grandfather in England during World War 2 and never returned to Ceylon.  She loved America.  Raised Eagle Scouts.  Enjoyed a political discussion.  A lively political discussion.

We spent some time this last week watching documentaries of 9-11.  It was a very good use of time, especially for the children. 

We learned about one man I thought you should know.  His name was Rick Rescorla.  He was a security director for one of the companies in the World Trade Center.  His story is apparently is well-known, and if you are interested to read more (you should)....go here:  http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=rick+rescorla&qpvt=rick+rescorla&FORM=Z7FD#focal=957b79e577db16dd25ed7a9a3090a189&furl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.politicalnightmare.com%2Fimages%2FRickRescorla_WTC11Sep2001.jpg

Rick, like Mr. Fun's grandmother, was British.  When you read his story, you will understand why I think he must have got the memo on Ubuntu. 
He volunteered to serve with the US in the Vietnam war.  He is credited for saving all but 6 of the 2,800 employees of his company on Sepember 11th. 

He did it by using a bullhorn and singing "God Bless America." 
There is a woman that I don't really know named J. from my church congregation who has been laid up for months in the hospital.  Her hospital room was empty of decorations and she has been lonely.  Hot Rod Brother Dave said that when he visited her lonely room, he was struck that she had no color or visual stimulation. 

So I made some picture posters. 

The children's group at church (50 plus I am guessing) each drew her a card on vibrant colored cardstock.

Another family delivered the items, tied in a shiny white bow.

And they said she was cheered.

Sometimes I guess brotherhood can be shared with simple pieces of paper.  Or a bullhorn and a song.