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Sharing Culture, Sharing Life

Ubuntu, I found this word a few weeks ago while reading, and it has my focus. A Xhosa (South Africa) word denotes sharing what you have. It makes some sense to me as I identify with it. Ubuntu recognizes that true healing is impossible without recognizing our common humanity and destiny.

Others say it means I am because you are. It means we are, have been, and will always be a community dependent on each other. I couldn't pass over this without writing about it.

The Colonel. John is retired, a decorated man who runs culture for The Fort athletic facility. He used to run Fort Monmouth when it was an Army base here in NJ. Now, this is where I work out daily. Great place. Good people. Right culture! Netflix bought 300 acres to make more entertainment for us—a contrast if there ever was one.

I fight Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) daily at The Fort. I do it because if I stop, I lose. Simple. And the reason I am writing about it here for this audience is because it takes a team to beat any more significant challenge. I beat alcohol. I stopped drinking in 2019 and am still dry—thanks to my docs, wife, and friends. I am also a cancer survivor, closing in on five years free. Again, docs, wife, and friends were with me. There's a theme here. Fighting PPMS is unlike anything I have ever tried, though. It takes a village, and for me, that is humanity, to help me reach my destiny, whatever that may be.

The Colonel has become a friend. He checks in on me at the facility when I work out. It's good to know someone has an eye out for you. We are close in age but couldn't be more different. I was a financial software executive before I retired nine years ago. The Colonel always has a kind word. He reminds people as they arrive that now that you're at the gym, the hard part is over. You've done the hard work. "You're here," he says, which means to get it done. He tells stories about his experiences. I like to do this, too. More sharing. Ubuntu.

We're here now. Our paths may cross by mistake, purposely, or serendipitously. We share breaths with George Washington, Prince, or Aristotle—your choice. The natural alteration of your breadth ensures it. Those molecules have been around for millions of years, so it makes sense we may just be connected to everyone who came before us. And we'll be part of anyone who comes after us. We share an ordinary consciousness, experience, humanity, and destiny.

PPMS is chronic, unrelenting, and moves in a debilitating direction. There is only one drug to treat it. Ocruvus. I am on it. It is helping me.

We consume experiences more than create them. That's, at minimum, a human letdown but more of a failure to me. We will be much better off if we get to a zero-sum. That means providing experiences at a greater rate than you consume them. Experiences transcend living and dying. They are shared by definition. It sounds like the Xhosa people have been onto something since long ago.


It's the same in any language.

Peace, Chris

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About Chris

Christian J. Farber

After a thriving corporate career, Chris now enjoys retirement at the Jersey Shore. As a prostate cancer survivor, he's committed to educating men about the disease and covers various topics like Alcoholism, Multiple Sclerosis, and Career Success in his featured writing on platforms such as The Good Men Project, Huffington Post, and Thrive Global.

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