Collective Work and Responsibility: Ujima

Ujima is pronounced as oo-JEE-mah. It is a term that has been coined to mean building and maintaining the community together as one. Moreover, Ujima seeks to make other peoples’ problems our own and endeavor to solve them as a group. Ujima is a collective commitment to be involved as a group in the affairs of others so as to foster cohesiveness and societal inclusion. It is a principle that is aimed at recognizing that liberation is a nightmare and progress is a dream if there is no collective struggle and work.

Ujima people side-by-side depicting unity

United We Stand, our motto at Ujimatheatre.org

The principle of Ujima enhances the fundamental assertion that humanity is not just a sign of identity, but an obligation and destiny. When we get involved together now, we build a collective future. It is therefore imperative to build our own future with our very hands and minds even as we commit to share the benefits and hardships of the future together. Ujima is a determination never to be divided because one of us has hit a jackpot or faced a particular struggle.

A Collective Principle

Ujima as a collective principle also means that we are ready to accept our responsible together in case of any setbacks and failures as well as triumphs. This holds true at the national level and trickles down to the smaller units of families and various organizations. Such a level of commitment is a clear implication that we stand to win together in spite of the criticism thrown at us. We always stand together and defend each other. We also commit to correcting each other which is a major factor of our strength, development, and defense as a community.

The collective work and responsibility principle also insinuates that freedom cannot be divided. I cannot gain my freedom alone if you have not attained yours. Together we win and together we fight to free each other. Ujima shutters the assumption of most of the people who believe that a hurting person is a hurting community. In Ujima principle, does not work in a selfish environment. Love for each other and the readiness to sacrifice for each other is the key to a successful community.

Opposing Intellectual and Escapist Modes

Don Quixote: The Musical gathers rave reviews

A production of Don Quixote being played out

Ujima vehemently opposes intellectual and escapist humanity and instead upholds the kind of humanity that starts with the commitment to and anxiety for other people who live amongst us and those whom we share the same surrounding. Real humanism starts when one accepts his or her own humanity regardless of the form in which it comes. Real humanism also commits to fight and deliver the freedom for all in an attempt to repair any holes that the enemy can poke and thwart our unity.

Collective work and responsibility erase unnecessary quarrels in the community. A contentious debate in the community is a threat to peaceful coexistence. Such should be avoided by all means. A united community is committed to behaving in a given manner. Such a manner of behavior is not forceful – it is a matter of willingness. In the case of any misunderstanding, the path to reconciliation is always taken slowly and with a lot of patience. The people involved are carefully thought about, and the rule of the thumb in reconciliation is to bring the people together as opposed to applying the rules.

Ujima community believe that if people do not agree, there is no relationship at all.

[Ujima]

Collective and personal work is the hub of culture and history. Work is the basic activity which gives creativity to humans and development as well. Work is the reason people make history. The holocaust of dependence was such a devastating occurrence since it destroyed abundant traditional triumphs and also destroyed millions of people. The effect of the Holocaust is felt to this day across the world.

History and culture are thus charged with the collective work and responsibility to bring back that which was stolen as well as building back what was destroyed. This is not a walk in the park. A single person cannot achieve such a huge milestone. The Holocaust serves to remind people that they represent a culture. Everyone must be committed to living in harmony. Any act done must be done for the good of the entire community. There should be no individual gains in any activity. The good of all is what Ujima seeks to achieve. Selfish gains are not encouraged.