November 30, 2016

Desmond Tutu Quotes

“A person is a person because he recognizes others as persons.”

“Be nice to the whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity.”

“Be nice to whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity.”

“Children are a wonderful gift. They have an extraordinary capacity to see into the heart of things and to expose sham and humbug for what they are.”

“Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

“For goodness sake, will they hear, will white people hear what we are trying to say? Please, all we are asking you to do is to recognize that we are humans, too.”

“Forgiveness is an absolute necessity for continued human existence.”

“Freedom and liberty lose out by default because good people are not vigilant.”

“Fundamental rights belong to the human being just because you are a human being.”

“Good is stronger than evil; love is stronger than hate; light is stronger than darkness; life is stronger than death. Victory is ours, through him who loves us.”

“Having looked the past in the eye, having asked for forgiveness and having made amends, let us shut the door on the past—not in order to forget it but in order not to allow it to imprison us.”

“He has a childlike, boyish, impish, mischievousness. And I have to try and make him behave properly, like a holy man!”

“History, like beauty, depends largely on the beholder, so when you read that, for example, David Livingstone discovered the Victoria Falls, you might be forgiven for thinking that there was nobody around the Falls until Livingstone arrived on the scene.”

“I am a leader by default, only because nature does not allow a vacuum.”

“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, whereas a young person of eighteen can vote. And why? Because he or she possesses that wonderful biological attribute: a white skin.”

“I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights.”

“I don’t preach a social gospel; I preach the Gospel, period. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the whole person. When people were hungry, Jesus didn’t say, Now is that political or social? He said, I feed you. Because the good news to a hungry person is bread.”

“I give great thanks to God that he has created a Dalai Lama. Do you really think, as some have argued, that God will be saying: You know, that guy, the Dalai Lama, is not bad. What a pity he’s not a Christian? I don’t think that is the case — because, you see, God is not a Christian.”

“I long and work for a South Africa that is more open and more just; Where people count and where they have equal access to the good things of life; With equal opportunity to live, work and learn.”

“I will never tell anyone to pick up a gun. But I will pray for the man who picks up a gun, pray that he will be less cruel than he might otherwise have been….”

“I wonder whether they have rum and Coke in Heaven? Maybe it’s too mundane a pleasure, but I hope so – as a sundowner. Except, of course, the sun never goes down there. Oh, man, this heaven is going to take some getting used to.”

“If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn’t worship that God.”

“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.”

“In the land of my birth I cannot vote, whereas a young person of eighteen can vote. And why? Because he or she possesses that wonderful biological attribute – a white skin.”

“It is for real that injustice and oppression will not have the last word. There was a time when Hitler looked like he was going to vanquish all of Europe, and where is he now?”

“It was relatively easy, we now realize, to categorize countries and nations. You knew who your enemies were and whom you could count on as collaborators and friends. And even more importantly, you had ready-made scapegoats to take the blame when things were going wrong.”

“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”

“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.”

“Reconciliation is a long process. We don’t have the kind of race clashes that we thought would happen. What we have is xenophobia, and it’s very distressing. But maybe you ought to be lenient with us. We’ve been free for just 12 years.”

“Resentment and anger are bad for your blood pressure and your digestion.”

“Sometimes you want to whisper in God’s ear, ‘God, we know you are in charge, but why don’t you make it slightly more obvious?'”

“South Africa, so utterly improbably, is a beacon of hope in a dark and troubled world.”

“The reprisal against the suicide bomber does not bring peace. There is a suicide bomber, a reprisal and then a counter-reprisal. And it just goes on and on.”

“There are different kinds of justice. Retributive justice is largely Western. The African understanding is far more restorative – not so much to punish as to redress or restore a balance that has been knocked askew.”

“There is a story, which is fairly well known, about when the missionaries came to Africa. They had the Bible and we, the natives, had the land. They said Let us pray, and we dutifully shut our eyes. When we opened them, why, they now had the land and we had the Bible.”

“Those who invest in South Africa should not think they are doing us a favor; they are here for what they get out of our cheap and abundant labor, and they should know that they are buttressing one of the most vicious systems.”

“Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language… It is to say, ‘My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in what is yours’.”

“We in South Africa had a relatively peaceful transition. If our madness could end as it did, it must be possible to do the same everywhere else in the world. If peace could come to South Africa, surely it can come to the Holy Land.”

“We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low.”

“We refuse to be treated as the doormat for the government to wipe its jackboots on.”

“We used to say to the apartheid government: you may have the guns, you may have all this power, but you have already lost. Come: join the winning side. His Holiness and the Tibetan people are on the winning side.”

“We who advocate peace are becoming an irrelevance when we speak peace. The government speaks rubber bullets, live bullets, tear gas, police dogs, detention, and death.”

“We would like to see you departing peacefully.”

“What has happened to us? It seems as if we have perverted our freedom, our rights into license, into being irresponsible. Perhaps we did not realise just how apartheid has damaged us so that we seem to have lost our sense of right and wrong.”

“What is black empowerment when it seems to benefit not the vast majority but an elite that tends to be recycled?”

“When a pile of cups is tottering on the edge of the table and you warn that they will crash to the ground, in South Africa you are blamed when that happens.”

“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.”

“Without forgiveness there can be no future for a relationship between individuals or within and between nations.”

“Without forgiveness, there’s no future.”

“You and I are created for transcendence, laughter, caring. God deliberately did not make the world perfect, for God is looking for you and me to be fellow workers with God.”

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”

“You must show the world that you abhor fighting.”