Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu > Quotes


Desmond Tutu quotes (showing 1-30 of 84)

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
Desmond Tutu
“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
“Forgiving is not forgetting; its actually remembering--remembering and not using your right to hit back. Its a second chance for a new beginning. And the remembering part is particularly important. Especially if you dont want to repeat what happened.”
Desmond Tutu
“My father always used to say, "Don't raise your voice. Improve your argument." Good sense does not always lie with the loudest shouters, nor can we say that a large, unruly crowd is always the best arbiter of what is right.”
Desmond Tutu
“Don't raise your voice, improve your argument."

[Address at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton, Johannesburg, South Africa, 23 November 2004]”
Desmond Tutu
“We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low.”
Desmond Tutu
“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
“Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.”
Desmond Tutu
“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
“We learn from history that we don't learn from history!”
Desmond Tutu
“A person is a person through other persons.

None of us comes into the world fully formed. We would not know how to think, or walk, or speak, or behave as human beings unless we learned it from other human beings. We need other human beings in order to be human. I am because other people are. A person is entitled to a stable community life, and the first of these communities is the family.”
Desmond Tutu
“In the end what matters is not how good we are but how good God is. Not how much we love Him but how much He loves us. And God loves us whoever we are, whatever we’ve done or failed to do, whatever we believe or can’t.”
Desmond Tutu
“When we see others as the enemy, we risk becoming what we hate. When we oppress others, we end up oppressing ourselves. All of our humanity is dependent upon recognizing the humanity in others.”
Desmond Tutu
“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
“Religion is like a knife: you can either use it to cut bread, or stick in someone's back.”
Desmond Tutu
“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
“Language is very powerful. Language does not just describe reality. Language creates the reality it describes.”
Desmond Tutu
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
Desmond Tutu
“Like when you sit in front of a fire in winter — you are just there in front of the fire. You don't have to be smart or anything. The fire warms you.”
Desmond Tutu
“Dear Child of God, I write these words because we all experience sadness, we all come at times to despair, and we all lose hope that the suffering in our lives and in the world will ever end. I want to share with you my faith and my understanding that this suffering can be transformed and redeemed. There is no such thing as a totally hopeless case. Our God is an expert at dealing with chaos, with brokenness, with all the worst that we can imagine. God created order out of disorder, cosmos out of chaos, and God can do so always, can do so now--in our personal lives and in our lives as nations, globally. ... Indeed, God is transforming the world now--through us--because God loves us.”
Desmond Tutu, God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time
“You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.”
Desmond Tutu
“Dear Child of God, I am sorry to say that suffering is not optional.”
Desmond Tutu
“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
“We are made for loving. If we don’t love, we will be like plants without water.”
Desmond Tutu
“There is nothing more difficult than waking someone who is only pretending to be asleep.”
Desmond Tutu
“Out of the cacophony of random suffering and chaos that can mark human life, the life artist sees or creates a symphony of meaning and order. A life of wholeness does not depend on what we experience. Wholeness depends on how we experience our lives.”
Desmond Tutu
“If you want to keep people subjugated, the last thing you place in their hands is a Bible. There's nothing more radical, nothing more revolutionary, nothing more subversive against injustice and oppression than the Bible.”
Desmond Tutu
“We must be ready to learn from one another, not claiming that we alone possess all truth and that somehow we have a corner on God.”
Desmond Tutu
“Though wrong gratifies in the moment, good yields its gifts over a lifetime.”
Desmond Tutu
“A person is a person through other persons; you can't be human in isolation; you are human only in relationships.”
Desmond Tutu

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