Monday, December 28, 2009


Yesterday I attended a Kwanzaa service at the UU church in Lexington, and learned alot. Now I want to share what I learned...

(The Seven Principles)

Umoja (Unity)
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Nia (Purpose)
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Kuumba (Creativity)
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani (Faith)
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Maulana Karenga

*From -- Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture, 2008, Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press (

I want to think Marilyn Dishman for being brave and taking us under her wing and leading the service yesterday and teaching me alot.

These are some pretty beautiful principles. Today is the third day of Kwanzaa, so today's principle is Ujima, Collective Work and Responsibility.
Up until this past year, 2009, I don't think I could really appreciate this principle. However, by participating in a 12 Step community called Al-Anon, I have learned that it is safe to care about people again. And to try to help. And even wilder, to accept help when is freely and lovingly offered and given. Amazing lessons. I am in awe. My biggest heartaches come when I forgo collective work and responsibility and try to do it all alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment