Desmond Tutu

(Desmond Mpilo Tutu)

Desmond Tutu
Desmond Tutu
  • Born: October 7, 1931
  • Nationality: South African
  • Profession: Leader









Quote Topics Cited
A person is a person because he recognizes others as persons. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Be nice to the whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity. Discrimination & Prejudice
Don't raise your voice, improve your argument. Diplomacy & Diplomats
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf brought stability to a place that was going to Hell. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
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. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Forgiveness is an absolute necessity for continued human existence Human Nature
Freedom and liberty lose out by default because good people are not vigilant. Freedom & Liberty
Give the other person the ability to save face…. Don’t rub his nose in things. War & Peace
God has such a deep reverence for our freedom that he'd rather let us freely go to Hell than be compelled to go to Heaven. Freedom & Liberty
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 History
I am a leader by default, only because nature does not allow a vacuum. Nature ;Leaders & Leadership
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. Sympathy ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. Justice & Injustice
In our struggle against apartheid, the great supporters were Jewish people. They almost instinctively had to be on the side of the disenfranchised, of the voiceless ones, fighting injustice, oppression and evil. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
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. Voters, Voting & Elections
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. Voters, Voting & Elections
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. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Just a fraction of what is expended so obscenely on defense budgets would make the difference in enabling God’s children to fill their stomachs, be educated, and be given a chance to lead fulfilled and happy lives. Development & Growth
Mr. De Klerk does not get the credit that he deserves [for dismantling apartheid.] Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
Our struggle is going to succeed but not because of numbers. Our struggle is going to succeed because it is a just struggle. Justice & Injustice
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?' Religion & God
South Africa, so utterly improbably, is a beacon of hope in a dark and troubled world Miscellaneous
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. Justice & Injustice
Today we live in a global village but we don’t have our global elders to guide and inspire us. Leaders & Leadership
Unless something drastic is done very soon, then bloodshed and violence are going to happen…almost inevitably… A people made desperate by despair and injustice and oppression will use desperate means. Human Nature
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. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
We learn about the Holocaust so that we can become more human, more gentle, more caring, more compassionate, valuing every person as being of infinite worth so precious that we know such atrocities will never happen again and the world will be a more humane place. Miscellaneous
We will pray for the downfall of the government that misrepresents us. Corruption
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. Religion & God
All the United States, it is a society that is split like to the bottom, that had very poor people in the country that is one of the wealthiest countries. Society
And every human being is precious.
As human beings we have the most extraordinary capacity for evil. We can perpetrate some of the most horrendous atrocities.
Be nice to whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity.
Because forgiveness is like this: a room can be dank because you have closed the windows, you've closed the curtains. But the sun is shining outside, and the air is fresh outside. In order to get that fresh air, you have to get up and open the window and draw the curtains apart.
Before Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962, he was an angry, relatively young man. He founded the ANC's military wing. When he was released, he surprised everyone because he was talking about reconciliation and forgiveness and not about revenge.
But God can only smile because only God can know what is coming next. Religion & God
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. Inspiration
Europe became rich because it exploited Africa; and the Africans know that.
Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice. Freedom & Liberty
For Christians, who believe they are created in the image of God, it is the Godhead, diversity in unity and the three-in-oneness of God, which we and all creation reflect. Religion & God
Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.
God is not upset that Gandhi was not a Christian, because God is not a Christian! All of God's children and their different faiths help us to realize the immensity of God. Religion & God
God is patient with us to become the God's children he wants us to be but you really can see him weeping. Religion & God
God's dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion. Religion & God ;Families, Children & Parenting
God's love is too great to be confined to any one side of a conflict or to any one religion. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Religion & God
Hate has no place in the house of God. Religion & God
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. Hope
How could you have a soccer team if all were goalkeepers? How would it be an orchestra if all were French horns?
I certainly know that I would not be able to survive if it were not for the fact that I am being upheld by the prayers of so many people.
I don't think I've ever felt that same kind of peace, the kind of serenity that I felt after acknowledging that maybe I was going to die of this TB. War & Peace
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.
I mean in the South African case, many of those who were part of death squads would have been respectable members of their white community, people who went to church on Sunday, every Sunday. Death
I think that most of us would prefer to be popular than unpopular.
I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't.
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. History
If you want peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies. War & Peace
In God's family, there are no outsiders, no enemies. Religion & God ;Families, Children & Parenting
In its history, Europe has committed so many massacres and horrors that it should bow its own head in shame. History
In many ways, when you're a Nobel peace laureate, you have an obligation to humankind, to society. Society ;War & Peace
In my country of South Africa, we struggled for years against the evil system of apartheid that divided human beings, children of the same God, by racial classification and then denied many of them fundamental human rights. Religion & God
In South Africa, we could not have achieved our freedom and just peace without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the Apartheid regime. Freedom & Liberty ;War & Peace
In the Bible, we first encounter God when he sides with a bunch of slaves against a powerful Pharaoh, an act of grace freely given. Religion & God
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.
Inclusive, good-quality education is a foundation for dynamic and equitable societies. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Isn't it amazing that we are all made in God's image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people? Religion & God
It is our moral obligation to give every child the very best education possible. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
It's a blessing that South Africa has a man like Nelson Mandela.
I've never doubted that apartheid - because it was of itself fundamentally, intrinsically evil - was going to bite the dust eventually.
Many people would be surprised that, in fact, I'm quite shy.
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.
Oh, 1994, April 27. There won't be a day like that ever again. I mean, the sky was blue, with a blueness that had never been there before.
Peace comes when you talk to the guy you most hate. And that's where the courage of a leader comes, because when you sit down with your enemy, you as a leader must already have very considerable confidence from your own constituency. War & Peace
People often speak of God being even-handed. God is not even-handed. God is biased, in favor of the weak, of the despised. Religion & God
Racism, xenophobia and unfair discrimination have spawned slavery, when human beings have bought and sold and owned and branded fellow human beings as if they were so many beasts of burden.
The God who existed before any religion counts on you to make the oneness of the human family known and celebrated. Religion & God ;Families, Children & Parenting
The minute you got the Nobel Peace Prize, things that I said yesterday, with nobody paying too much attention, I say the same things after I got it - oh! It was quite crucial for people, and it helped our morale because apartheid did look invincible. War & Peace
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Freedom & Liberty
The universe can take quite a while to deliver.
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.
Universal education is not only a moral imperative but an economic necessity, to pave the way toward making many more nations self-sufficient and self-sustaining. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
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. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
We inhabit a universe that is characterized by diversity.
We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low. Religion & God
We would like to see you departing peacefully.
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. Religion & God
When we see the face of a child, we think of the future. We think of their dreams about what they might become, and what they might accomplish. Future
When you think of the sort of things that happen when a genocide happens, it's again not people who are intrinsically evil.
Without forgiveness, there's no future. Future
You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. Religion & God ;Families, Children & Parenting
You must show the world that you abhor fighting.
You stand out in the crowd only because you have these many, many carrying you on their shoulders.
Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Inspiration