SNAI read recently about an ongoing study that looks at the influence of social networks on people's lives. The startling results so far show that the people in our life - friends in particular - have more of an impact on us than we may have ever considered. If, for example, I have a friend that becomes happier, I'm more than 60% more likely to become happier - same with obesity, drinking and smoking habits, depression, ill-health, the inclination to turn out and vote in elections, a taste for certain music or food, and even a preference for online privacy.

It turns out that the best way to ensure that we have health, wealth and happiness is to ensure that the people around us are doing okay too.

Of course, taking this a step further, our friends are all influenced by a network of people that is beyond our direct reach - our third degree friendship circle. These people, people who we may never have met, have an impact on our life because they affect our friends, who in turn affect us. The only possibly way to turn what could be a vicious cycle - a social epidemic of whatever it is we don't want in our life -  is to ensure that our friends in turn know that they need to help all their friends achieve their goals.

This is the fundamental understanding of uBuntu, which, besides being a slick alternative to Microsoft's Operating System, is an African Humanist Ideology that is perhaps best summed up in the phrase:
"Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu" or "People are only people because of other people", or even more plainly stated: "You are a product of your social network".
AuthorDave Duarte