Why world philosophy day at all?
Many thinkers state that astonishment is the root of philosophy. That is the human’s natural tendency to be astonished by themselves and the world in which they live. It is seen as a form of “wisdom” and teaches us to reflect on reflection itself. Questioning well-established truths, verifying hypotheses and find conclusions are all part of the paraphernalia.
In every culture philosophy gives birth to concepts, ideas and analyses. This then becomes the base for critical, independent and creative thought. UNSECO’s philosophy day celebrates this institution, more importantly to share their philosophical heritage with each other.
For UNESCO philosophy provides the conceptual bases of principles and values on which world peace depends, democracy human rights, justice and equality functions. It is philosophy that helps t consolidate these authentic foundations of peaceful coexistence. Offering everyone an opportunity to think about different questions like “”who are we as individuals and as a world community” was the way the day was celebrated for the first two years. There were participants from seventy countries. Debates on ethical and moral norms did take place including a question that we often forget, that is,”what do we neglect to think about?”
The world philosophy day was established in 2005. Though UNESCO installed it, it does not own it; it belongs to everyone, everywhere.
Ubuntu fits into this thought pattern very well it means the quality of being human. Ubuntu manifests itself through various human acts, clearly visible in social, political and economic situations as well as among families. This is embodied in the phrase Ubuntu ngumtu ngabanye abantu—that is a person is a person through other people. No man is an island.
Ubuntu is seen and felt in the spirit of willing participation, unquestioning cooperation, warmth, openness and personal dignity, demonstrated by the indigenous African population. From the cradle every African child inculcates these qualities so that by time they are adult it becomes a way of being.
We are currently a society that fells mountains, razes jungles, fills swamps Move Rivers and relocate towns all to make it easier for the foreigner and his business to do business. Forest and wildlife are being exterminated to make room for businesses, as well as for cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and chicken to feed the business. we are world where 40% of the world lives in poverty and suffers from malnutrition while developed countries 15 billion dollars/year are spent on losing weight and an additional 22 billion on beauty aids. Michael Jordon earned $20 million to promote Nike shoes, which is more than the entire annual payroll of the Indonesian factories that make the shoes.
Maybe it is time we asked a fundamental question what the world is coming to. May be it is time to step out of long standing organized religion and practise Ubuntu. A time has come to become pluralistic, and bring together the opposites, the homeless and well-housed, a world that is both dying and healthy, a world of fiction and fact, obese and anorexic at the same time.
When we act upon deeply feeling a sense of being connected to others by our common humanity, can we regard self and the other as one, we cherish human dignity, all of our relationships and level of our behaviours and actions are raised to a higher plane.
As we practise Ubuntu we realize each has a vital role to play that must be held in balance without one dominating the other. We must break the walls down. Build the body up and bring the people to gather.
Ref/ reverend William E Flippin Jr. , UNSECO site, Wikipedia.