Desmond Mpilo Tutu (1931-1996) was a South African cleric, theologian and pacifist known for his work as anti-apartheid and human rights activist. He was the bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then the archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996, in both cases he was the first indigenous black African to hold the position. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984
It is said that he was the one who coined the qualifier of Rainbow nation to metaphorically describe post-Apartheid South Africa (in 1994 with the triumph of the African National Congress). The expression has since been incorporated to describe the ethnic diversity of South Africa.
Famous quotes by Desmond Tutu
The language is very powerful. Language not only describes reality. Language creates the reality it describes.
If you want peace, don't talk to your friends. Talk to your enemies.
There comes a point where we have to stop taking people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they are falling.
It is through weakness and vulnerability that most of us learn empathy and compassion and discover our soul.
Without memory, there is no cure. Without forgiveness, there is no future.
We are made for good. We are made for love. We are made for friendship. We are made for union. We are made for all the beautiful things that you and I know. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders.
Do a little good where you are; it is those small fragments of good deeds that overwhelm the world.
When the missionaries arrived in Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let's pray.' We close our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the earth.
The differences are not intended to separate, alienate. We are different precisely to realize the need we have for each other.
Ubuntu is very difficult to translate into a western language. Talk about the essence of the human being ... to be generous, hospitable, kind, caring and compassionate. To share what one has.
My father always used to say: Don't raise your voice. Improve your argument.
My humanity is linked to yours, because we can only be human together.
To remain neutral in situations of injustice is to be complicit in that injustice.
The hope is to see that there is light despite all the darkness.
Forgiveness says you have another chance to start over.
Forgive is not forget; It is actually remembering, remembering and not using your right to strike back. It is a second chance for a new beginning. And the part of remembering is particularly important. Especially if you don't want to repeat what happened.
We learn from history that we do not learn from history!
If you remember the happiest moments of your life, they are all from when you did something for someone else.
I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't.
Religion is like a knife: you can use it to cut bread or stick it to someone in the back.
You do not choose your family. They are a gift from God to you, as you are to them.
We must be ready to learn from each other, without claiming that only we possess the whole truth and that we somehow have a corner in God.
There is nothing more difficult than waking someone who just wants to be asleep.
Inclusive and good quality education is a basis for dynamic and equitable societies.
The fundamental law of human beings is interdependence. A person is a person through other people; you cannot be human in isolation; You are human only in relationships.
Our maturity will be judged according to how well we can be together even when we disagree and yet continue to love each other, take care of each other and treasure each other and seek the best good of the other.
Give young people a bigger voice. They are the future and are much wiser than we give them credit.
We have allowed the interests of capital to exceed the interests of human beings and of our Earth.
It means a lot to those who are oppressed to know that they are not alone. And never let anyone tell you that what you are doing is insignificant.
We are not responsible for what breaks us, but we can be responsible for what brings us together again. Naming the pain is how we begin to repair our broken parts.
If we are going to see real development in the world, our best investment is women!
A life of fullness does not depend on what we experience. Fullness depends on how we interpret these experiences in our lives.
Poverty, the greatest cause of human suffering on the planet, is exacerbated by conflict, competition for resources, injustice, even the global recession and climate change. Diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria cannot be addressed without adequate resources. Then you see that everything is connected. To address any major cause of human suffering, we have to work together on many fronts.
The love of God is too great to be confined to any side of a conflict or to any religion.
Although evil gratifies in the moment, good yields its gifts throughout life.
Do a little good wherever you are; It's those little pieces of good elements that overwhelm the world.
The Dead Sea in the Middle East receives fresh water, but has no outlet, so it does not let the water pass. Get beautiful waters from the rivers but it just goes wrong. And that is why it is the Dead Sea. Receive and do not give. In the end, generosity is the best way to become more, more and happier.
Be kind to whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity.
Like when you sit in front of the fire in winter, you are right in front of the fire. You don't have to be smart or anything like that. The fire simply warms you.
Life is more than a breath and a heartbeat; Meaning and purpose are the key to life.
I am not interested in collecting crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my teacher. I want the full rights menu.
We are fragile creatures, and it is from this weakness, not in spite of that, that we discover the possibility of true joy.
People of conscience must break their ties with companies that finance the injustice of climate change.
Hate has no place in the house of God. No one should be excluded from our love, our compassion or our concern for their race or gender, their faith or ethnicity, or their sexual orientation.
I am totally, absolutely and completely sure that God would not be homophobic. I'd rather go to hell than go to a homophobic sky.
To treat someone as if he were less than human, less than a brother or sister, no matter what they have done, is to contravene the laws of our humanity.
If we have loved well while living, our love will continue for generations.
There is something about us that refuses to be considered less than human. We are created for freedom.
Renewing a relationship is a creative act. We make a new relationship. It is possible to build a new relationship regardless of the realities of the previous relationship.
I would like to share with you two simple truths: there is nothing that cannot be forgiven, and there is no one who does not deserve forgiveness.