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Embracing the Power of 'Sawubona' to Build Meaningful Connections.

Updated: Mar 17


close up shot of a woman's eye

"Sawubona!" - This Zulu greeting literally translates to “I see you”, yet it actually means so much more.


Sawubona isn’t only a polite greeting. It also recognizes the worth and dignity of the person you say it to.


It says, “I see the whole of you - your experiences, your passions, your pain, your strengths and weaknesses, and your future. You are valuable to me.”


Sawubona also holds the belief that when others ‘see’ me, then I exist.


One common response is “Yebo, sawubona”, which means “I see you seeing me”. Now, stop for a second and think of how good it feels to see someone’s face light up when they feel seen or acknowledged. Feels nice, right?


More than just a word, a simple greeting of any kind, combined with even brief eye contact and a smile, can energize the other person through the gift of your full attention and presence, even it’s just for that moment. Your acknowledgement communicates how much you value HUMAN LIFE.


Here at the Human Infusion Project, I do see you. Sometimes I struggle to find words to relay that, but I do.


And I also have been seen by others. One of the most profound aspects of my own growth, was deeply realizing that part of my own well-being is interwoven with of the well-being of so many others – including those around the world who are most vulnerable.


This understanding doesn't make me a 'bleeding heart' or a 'snowflake'. To me, it represents experiencing a REAL life. One that doesn't exclusively focus on pleasant celebrations while keeping me sheltered from pain. But one that allows me to share BOTH realities with others. And for me, it was worth the work to get to a mental-emotional place where I could do that.


So try this greeting on someone this week. It may spark a conversation simply over its meaning. And even if it doesn’t, at minimum I bet you smile a little inside because now you know its powerful meaning.


Will you join me on working towards seeing our shared human value more clearly?


close up of the author's face with the greeting of sawubona

Jen

 

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The Human Infusion Project is a grassroots, philanthropic personal development platform that draws from the combined fields of modern brain science, applied psychology and spiritual philosophy. Our mission aims to augment and supplement the work of professional practitioners in simplified, practical and affordable ways. 100% of all online class profit funds the Wellness Assistance Grant. If financial constraints limit your participation, please contact me and we'll work something out.

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