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Desmond Tutu Quotes

South African archbishop and activist, Birth: 7-10-1931 Desmond Tutu Quotes
1.
There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they're falling in.
Desmond Tutu

'It is imperative that we locate and address the source of the problem, rather than solely focusing on alleviating its effects.'
2.
We are made for goodness. We are made for love. We are made for friendliness. We are made for togetherness. We are made for all of the beautiful things that you and I know. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders. All are welcome: black, white, red, yellow, rich, poor, educated, not educated, male, female, gay, straight, all, all, all. We all belong to this family, this human family, God's family.
Desmond Tutu

3.
When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.
Desmond Tutu

When the evangelists arrived in Africa they had their scriptures and we held sway over the terrain. They said 'Let us supplicate.' We shut our peepers. When we opened them again we had the scriptures and they held dominion over the land.
4.
Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.
Desmond Tutu

Distinctions are not meant to divide, to estrange. We are diverse precisely in order to comprehend our dependence on each other.
5.
Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
Desmond Tutu

Contribute your portion of kindness in your corner; those individual pieces of kindness consolidated can overwhelm the world.
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6.
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
Desmond Tutu

7.
There's no way in which you can ever win a war against terror. As long as there are conditions in many parts of the world that make people desperate: poverty, disease, ignorance, etc. I hope that we will discover soon, that we can survive, only together. We can prosper only together. And I think people are beginning to realize this, that you can't have pockets of prosperity in one part of the world and huge deserts of poverty and deprivation and think you can have a stable, secure world.
Desmond Tutu

8.
You are either on the side of the oppressed or on the side of the oppressor. You can't be neutral.
Desmond Tutu

'You must either align yourself with the subjugated or the tyrant. There is no middle ground.'
Quote Topics by Desmond Tutu: People Thinking Mean Children Justice Want Believe Humans Compassion Christian Rights Country Men Forgiving World Way Peace Order Evil Giving Real Home Beautiful Self Looks Ubuntu Trying Able Land Jesus
9.
If you want peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.
Desmond Tutu

If you seek tranquility, don't converse with your allies. Consult your adversaries.
10.
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.
Desmond Tutu

Faith: Believing in the unseen despite overwhelming obstacles.
11.
One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu - the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can't exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can't be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality - Ubuntu - you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.
Desmond Tutu

12.
To remain neutral in situations of injustice is to be complicit in that injustice.
Desmond Tutu

To opt for passiveness in the face of inequity is to condone that inequity.
13.
Our maturity will be judged by how well we are able to agree to disagree and yet continue to love one another, to care for one another, and cherish one another and seek the greater good of the other.
Desmond Tutu

Our maturity will be evaluated based on how well we can come to terms with our differences and still remain devoted, compassionate, and cherish each other while striving for the best interests of the other.
14.
Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language. It speaks of the very essence of being human.... you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, 'My humanity is inextricably bound up in yours.' We belong in a bundle of life.
Desmond Tutu

15.
Africans believe in something that is difficult to render in English. We call it ubuntu, botho. It means the essence of being human. You know when it is there and when it is absent. It speaks about humaneness, gentleness, hospitality, putting yourself out on behalf of others, being vulnerable. It embraces compassion and toughness. It recognizes that my humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.
Desmond Tutu

16.
You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.
Desmond Tutu

'Your relatives are an act of divine providence; a blessing to both them and you.'
17.
We were made to enjoy music, to enjoy beautiful sunsets, to enjoy looking at the billows of the sea and to be thrilled with a rose that is bedecked with dew… Human beings are actually created for the transcendent, for the sublime, for the beautiful, for the truthful... and all of us are given the task of trying to make this world a little more hospitable to these beautiful things.
Desmond Tutu

18.
We are all connected. What unites us is our common humanity. I don't want to oversimplify things - but the suffering of a mother who has lost her child is not dependent on her nationality, ethnicity or religion. White, black, rich, poor, Christian, Muslim or Jew - pain is pain - joy is joy.
Desmond Tutu

19.
My father always used to say, "Don't raise your voice. Improve your argument."
Desmond Tutu

My father always used to say, "Don't yell. Strengthen your case."
20.
Forgiving and being reconciled to our enemies or our loved ones are not about pretending that things are other than they are. It is not about patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong. True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth. It could even sometimes make things worse. It is a risky undertaking but in the end it is worthwhile, because in the end only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing. Superficial reconciliation can bring only superficial healing.
Desmond Tutu

21.
If we are going to see real development in the world then our best investment is WOMEN!
Desmond Tutu

22.
True reconciliation is never cheap, for it is based on forgiveness which is costly. Forgiveness in turn depends on repentance, which has to be based on an acknowledgment of what was done wrong, and therefore on disclosure of the truth. You cannot forgive what you do not know.
Desmond Tutu

23.
Bringing people together is what i call 'ubuntu,' which means 'I am because we are.' Far too often people think of themselves as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.
Desmond Tutu

24.
It is through weakness and vulnerability that most of us learn empathy and compassion and discover our soul.
Desmond Tutu

25.
God places us in the world as his fellow workers-agents of transfiguration. We work with God so that injustice is transfigured into justice, so there will be more compassion and caring, that there will be more laughter and joy, that there will be more togetherness in God's world.
Desmond Tutu

26.
My message to the international community is that our silence and complicity especially on the situation in Gaza shames us all. It is almost like the behaviour of the military junta in Burma
Desmond Tutu

27.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.
Desmond Tutu

28.
Give young people a greater voice. They are the future and they are much wiser than we give them credit for.
Desmond Tutu

29.
Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.
Desmond Tutu

30.
A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.
Desmond Tutu

31.
Poverty - the greatest cause of human suffering on the planet - is itself exacerbated by conflict, competition for resources, injustice, even the global downturn and climate change. Diseases like AIDS, TB and malaria cannot be tackled without adequate resources. So you see everything is connected. In order to address any major cause of human suffering, we have to work together across many fronts.
Desmond Tutu

32.
Religion is like a knife: you can either use it to cut bread, or stick in someone's back.
Desmond Tutu

33.
We have allowed the interests of capital to outweigh the interests of human beings and our Earth.
Desmond Tutu

34.
As much as the world has an instinct for evil and is a breeding ground for genocide, holocaust, slavery, racism, war, oppression, and injustice, the world has an even greateer instinct for goodness, rebirth, mercy, beauty, truth, freedom and love.
Desmond Tutu

35.
We are living in an historic moment. We are each called to take part in a great transformation. Our survival as a species is threatened by global warming, economic meltdown, and an ever-increasing gap between rich and poor. Yet these threats offer an opportunity to awaken as an interconnected and beloved community.
Desmond Tutu

36.
Without memory, there is no healing. Without forgiveness, there is no future.
Desmond Tutu

37.
We must act now and wake up to our moral obligations. The poor and vulnerable are members of God's family and are the most severely affected by droughts, high temperatures, the flooding of coastal cities, and more severe and unpredictable weather events resulting from climate change. We, who should have been responsible stewards preserving our vulnerable, fragile planet home, have been wantonly wasteful through our reckless consumerism, devouring irreplaceable natural resources.
Desmond Tutu

38.
I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid.
Desmond Tutu

39.
A person is a person through other persons; you can't be human in isolation; you are human only in relationships.
Desmond Tutu

40.
Niger is not an isolated island of desperation. It lies within a sea of problems across Africa - particularly the 'forgotten emergencies' in poor countries or regions with little strategic or material appeal.
Desmond Tutu

41.
Forgiveness is abandoning your right to revenge.
Desmond Tutu

42.
We are each made for goodness, love and compassion. Our lives are transformed as much as the world is when we live with these truths.
Desmond Tutu

43.
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Desmond Tutu

44.
Frequently people think compassion and love are merely sentimental. No! They are very demanding. If you are going to be compassionate, be prepared for action.
Desmond Tutu

45.
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
Desmond Tutu

46.
I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place.
Desmond Tutu

47.
I am fifty-two years of age. I am a bishop in the Anglican Church, and a few people might be constrained to say that I was reasonably responsible. In the land of my birth I cannot vote...
Desmond Tutu

48.
He's a tremendous breath of fresh air. The things he [Pope Francis] has done in a short period of time: the fact that he does not live in a huge papal mansion and just dropped by in the dining room where ordinary people have meals. You think of his background, where he didn't use limousines in South America, that he used public transport. I'm so, so thrilled that he is there at this crucial moment in the history of our world.
Desmond Tutu

49.
True peace must be anchored in justice and an unwavering commitment to universal rights for all humans, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin or any other identity attribute.
Desmond Tutu

50.
How could you have a soccer team if all were goalkeepers? How would it be an orchestra if all were French horns?
Desmond Tutu