“We are lonesome animals. We spend all of our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say—and to feel—‘yes, that is the way it is, or at least that’s the way I feel it. You’re not as alone as you thought.’”
Terry Hershey tells a wonderful story about the northern Natal tribes in South Africa.
They greet one another each day, saying “Sawa Bona,” which means literally “I see you.” Their response is “Sikhona” which means “I am here.”
They are saying to one another, “until you see me I do not exist; and when you see me you bring me into existence. When you see me, I am fully present, I am here.”
Members of these tribes go about their day with personal validation from everyone they encounter–they are seen for who they are.
They are a community where everybody is a somebody, and the wholeness of each individual coalesces into the wholeness of the community.