KWANZAA: Call to Build and Maintain

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If you have not read the second day of Kwanzaa post “Call to Determination”, I recommend that you read it before you go on.

Today is the third day of Kwanzaa, and I had no intentions on missing any of the events at Pan African Connection in Dallas. However, with the flat tires it was a day of bringing things together. The third day of Kwanzaa is Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) meaning “to build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together”.

Last night while sitting in the parking lot waiting for our ride home, my son asked about going to the Soka Center – Forth Worth  for clean up. It was the last thing on my mind, but it was important to him to be a part of the community today. When we got home, I sent a message to someone to see if they were available to support him. In the Soka Gakkai International community we are taught ujima without knowing it. How? We are taught Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 8.22.04 PMto help support others in the community in their endeavors to create happiness for them and ourselves. We are taught that if one person has a problem or circumstance coming along side them is a way to relieve their struggle. Having more than one persons moving a boulder makes it lighter, the same is said with problems. Calling upon others to help is not an easy thing for me, but I wanted him to be able to go, so I did. He was picked up and went to help out. Additionally, I called upon a friend to take me back to the car and look for another set of tires. She came, drove my sister around looking for a repair for one tire so we could put it on and get the car on the road to a tire shop. And, it was interesting to find that others in the community helped namely a man names Archie who happened to be a mechanic and spied that the tires were fine, but the wheels were bent. We took his advice, got the wheels repaired, and I ended up paying only $12 for it all. I absolutely did not expect to only pay $12, I expected to have to buy two new tires and possibly wheels.

Today was an example of being aware of how others can make our problems theirs in support of us having what we want and need, and the need for us to allow for that to happen. There are plenty of people willing to help, if we ask or say what is needed. Archie didn’t have to stop to help remove the rear tire. Marlowe didn’t have to come pick us up and take us around town to get anything done. And my sister didn’t have to come with me to get it all completed. Ujima is alive in the world we just have to look for it, name it, and continue being willing “to build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together”.


Dirty hands of ujima getting things done. My sister and me.

Dirty hands of ujima getting things done. My sister and me.

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