“Sawubona – I See You” – African Zulu Greeting

Written for and Published in The Seeds 4 Life.

“Hello.” A greeting is an acknowledgement of the person we are meeting.

It is a word which unites us with another in our introductory moment.

However, if we pay attention to our thoughts, we may notice the background noise of judgment, insecurities, motives, and impression. It may be human nature to decide upon the “hello,” if that person is worthy of our attention and time; and this exchange is based on how we see ourselves before seeing anybody else.

“Sawubona,” is an African Zulu greeting which translates to, “I see you, and by seeing you, I bring you into being.” (Susan David). Sawubona provides an opportunity for us to turn off the background noise and to be present in the moment of introduction.

To see the person for who THEY are, unbiased of our opinions and judgement. It can provide a space for genuine connection in recognizing another’s presence in our life and vice versa.

When we acknowledge another person and bring them into being as themselves, it opens up the space for also be recognized as who we are.  The background noise of judgement and insecurities will fade and the gift of openness will allow for all parties to stay comfortable in their skin.

What a different world it would be if we all greeted one another with the Sawubona intention? To see another as themselves and to welcome genuine connection.

Sawubona.

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