In Zulu, the traditional greeting is Sawubona — I see you. The traditional response is, Yebo, sawubona — Yes, I see you, too. It's more than just physically seeing you. It is more like I see into you. I get you. I know who you are and I still want to hang out together.
Sawubona is, in a sense, a covenant: I pledge to try to see your essence; I pledge to look at you wholly and not just at the parts of you that grab my attention; I pledge to see your entire humanity, to look until I know what makes you tick.
This “Stay at Home” self - quarantine atmosphere we are living in feels like no one is sees each other. That you and your family are unique and lonely and muddling through all of this stuff far far far away from others.
Let’s take a pledge to Sawubona. To really see each other.
When we pledge to truly see each other, we step into the middle of others’ lives with a deeply powerful intention — the intention to be there without judging. The intention to help each other bring all of who we are as individuals back into a group.
In moments of self - quarantine, seeing someone takes on a whole new meaning. Here are some ideas of how people saw and were seen over the weekend. Delivering Easter baskets to neighbors with the sole purpose to enjoy the conversation that happened from open door to those on the bottom porch step. A Zoom chat as a family, extended family and friends. Although one lady couldn’t enjoy Easter dinner in person, their family enjoy dinner via Zoom. I saw an ATV parade this weekend. 3-4 family’s got together and created a parade down my very rural street. It made me smile as they waved big parade waves to me. ‘Seeing’ each other is difficult. The difficulty of it doesn’t mean we should abandon the quest; indeed, it means we should try harder.
I am challenging myself to bring the spirit of sawubona with me to they gym and into my life. Perhaps you would like to challenge yourself to do the same. Here is a question I’d like you to answer: How can I do a better job of seeing you right now?”