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5 hands across a table, united

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We were winding down our discussion when Roberta hit me with it:


It’s a Zulu word that translates to “humanity.” In Zulu culture, it means that “strangers” do not exist. The Golden Rule, discussed in last week’s blog and as applied by Zulus, requires us to welcome everyone into our homes. This means clothing, feeding, and sheltering those who arrive at our doorsteps.

What I like about the Zulu worldview is that, if no one is a stranger, then practising The Golden Rule becomes easy. We’re united, One, not divided. United, no difference exists between how I treat myself and how I treat others because we are one body, one community, with the simple name of Humanity.

Ubuntu in my life

My dad escaped communism during an uprising in 1956. He left his parents and sisters in the dead of night at the age of 19 for a world unknown. Somehow he landed in England with a lot of other Hungarian refugees, not knowing a word of English let alone how to navigate a non-communist world.

He worked as a café barista and eventually studied mechanical engineering in London. While mastering English, he learned – and grew to love – the culture, attending classical music concerts regularly, making friends, and wearing an ascot (what could be more quintessentially British?).

While he eventually moved to Canada, that welcoming experience in London shaped him profoundly. Until the end of his life, he still said “cahhhn’t” instead of “can’t” and declared roundabouts the best traffic tool. He couldn’t believe we didn’t build more roundabouts in Canada as they were “much more efficient than stop signs.”

I appreciate the British application of Ubuntu in my dad’s life and, indeed, my own. By admitting my dad and all those Hungarian refugees in 1956, the UK gave them a chance for a better life. I thank the British saying for saying “yes” when my dad sought refuge.

Ubuntu in today’s world

Today we see a new group seeking refuge. Ukrainian families have been torn apart by the war there, with women, children, and the elderly fleeing Ukraine in droves seeking safety in neighbouring countries and elsewhere, including with the large Ukrainian diaspora in Canada. Ukrainians on the ground here in Canada are working feverishly to prepare for their arrival.

I remind myself what we all want: safety, belonging, and purpose. We want to climb Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Physiological – Safety – Belonging – Esteem – Self-Actualization.

Most people flee out of fear and/or desperation. They’re not coming to “take” from others. They’re coming because they want to “give” their best which, for whatever reason, they can’t in their current situation.

Ubuntu compels us to welcome all newcomers as friends. May we welcome this latest wave of humanity seeking shelter with open arms.

Applying Ubuntu to your life

Ubuntu is greater than how we treat strangers. It’s about how we treat friends. Here we see The Platinum Rule (treat others the way they want to be treated) in action. When we care for the group, we care for ourselves. The group is large, all of humanity in fact, as Gary Zukav writes about in Universal Human. It’s not about one community, religion, or ethnic group. It’s ALL of us.

Header Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Think about applying Ubuntu in your life. What will you do? Send me an email and let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

To hear/watch the full conversation with Roberta on Ubuntu, click here.


You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.


I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.


Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.


I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!


Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.


I think Laura’s coaching was what I had been waiting for. Laura was so approachable, kind, and open. Her willingness to help and support made a difference for me. I found in her coaching new strategies, ideas, and perspectives that I could incorporate into my goals and objectives that I didn’t see before.


Laura is an incredibly intuitive, positive and caring coach. Her techniques helped me recognize both my strengths and areas I might want to explore as I embark on the next chapter of my career. The exercises she employed were instrumental in providing self perspective and challenging my frames of reference.


Laura is a natural coach. Her probing and compassionate questions helped me learn about myself: my value system, interests, goals and strengths.


Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.


From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.


Laura’s coaching was a breath of fresh air and EXACTLY what I needed at that point of my life. I didn’t realize how impactful coaching was going to be, but by the end of the sessions together, I left feeling refreshed, inspired and genuinely curious about what my future held for me. Because of Laura and her coaching, I believe I became a better person – someone who is more open-minded, someone with a clearer focus, and someone who is willing to explore opportunities and possibilities far more than I ever did before.


I engaged Laura for coaching as I took on an expanded role leading an asset management company in Canada. As a female, I knew I would be a role model and had high expectations of myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

In our first few coaching sessions we worked through exercises that allowed me to reflect on my purpose, leadership style and what mattered most to me. I continue to be grounded by the clarity I achieve in my coaching sessions – allowing me to be resilient and confident when challenges came my way.