Belongify Origins: UBUNTU AND BELONGING !

Belongify is deeply interested and committed to creating conditions of true belonging. Our organization loves the principles underlying Ubuntu, a South African philosophy that teaches that all humans are deeply interconnected. 

Respect for all is at its foundation, and it implores us to look outward, acknowledging the humanity in others.

When we do this with sincerity, our behavior transforms. It’s difficult to mistreat others if we genuinely recognize their inherent value. 

The key message in Ubuntu is: “To feel true belonging, we must acknowledge humanity’s interconnectedness.”

Truly seeing each other, as emphasized in Zulu culture, is emotional nutrition. When we do not get enough, it manifests socially as loneliness (including in the workplace). “36 percent of Americans, including 61 percent of young adults, report ‘serious loneliness,’” according to a survey by the Making Caring Common Project at Harvard.

Wow! Let’s each commit to changing that through our daily activities. We can do it. 

In her book, Everyday Ubuntu, the author Mungi Ngomane notes: “Ubuntu challenges us to flip our thinking. Instead of using other people as a point of comparison, it invites us to focus instead on what someone else brings to our lives. Their contribution might be small – a stranger holding the door open for you, or huge – a loved one caring for you while you’re sick. As soon as we shift our thinking to how someone has contributed to our lives, we let go of our notions of lack and competition. By looking outward in a positive way, we start seeing how connected we are to the lives of those around us. And this sense of belonging brings us comfort.” 

If we simply employ this principle with EVERYONE, we will move the belonging needle forward and reduce loneliness. See everyone for what they have and will contribute to our lives! We are all related. 

Also, It’s important that psychological safety/belonging, and job security, are NOT to be conflated/confused. They are NOT the same.

Conditions requiring massive restructure for survival can happen overnight. At the same time, all of us should expect to work in a psychologically safe environment. We should be able to bring our authentic selves to work and fully contribute in imperfect ways, without fear of repercussion. While it may feel hurtful, we need to know that our membership is subject to rapid and often unexpected change. One day we may be asked to take on a different role or to leave altogether. 

Organizations and teams that are leading the way in terms of performance and engagement are investing in belonging and psychological safety.

Numerous studies confirm belonging creates a lower prevalence of mental health issues, less unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, not exercising, not getting enough sleep, and too much alcohol/drugs.

From an organizational perspective, belonging means one is also meaningfully engaged by intentionally finding ways of giving to others. Employees are even more connected when they activate a powerful purpose!

We BELONG to an organization where purpose is about transforming lives and creating a place of belonging in a local and global community.

How cool is that?

Each of us can make the journey from diversity to inclusion, to psychological safety and ultimately to REAL BELONGING. If you have that continuum, we promise you a more productive and engaged workforce and a more joy-filled life!

Let’s do it together.

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