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Desmond Tutu Quotes

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Desmond Tutu Quote: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

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

— Desmond Tutu



Desmond Tutu Quote: “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.”

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


Desmond Tutu Quote: “My father always used to say, “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.””

My father always used to say, “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.”

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.

— Desmond Tutu


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

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

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “If you want peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.”

If you want peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “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.”

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


Desmond Tutu Quote: “God’s love is too great to be confined to any one side of a conflict or to any one religion.”

God’s love is too great to be confined to any one side of a conflict or to any one religion.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “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.”

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.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.”

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

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “The fundamental law of human beings is interdependence. A person is a person through other persons.”

The fundamental law of human beings is interdependence. A person is a person through other persons.

— Desmond Tutu


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

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

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “There is no justice in killing in the name of justice.”

There is no justice in killing in the name of justice.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “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.”

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


Desmond Tutu Quote: “Without memory, there is no healing. Without forgiveness, there is no future.”

Without memory, there is no healing. Without forgiveness, there is no future.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.”

Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.

— Desmond Tutu


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

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

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “The world’s forests are a shared stolen treasure that we must put back for our children’s future.”

The world’s forests are a shared stolen treasure that we must put back for our children’s future.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “Inclusive, good-quality education is a foundation for dynamic and equitable societies.”

Inclusive, good-quality education is a foundation for dynamic and equitable societies.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “Forgiveness does not mean condoning what has been done. Forgiving means abandoning your right to pay back the perpetrator in his own coin.”

Forgiveness does not mean condoning what has been done. Forgiving means abandoning your right to pay back the perpetrator in his own coin.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.”

Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “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.”

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


Desmond Tutu Quote: “Children learn about the nature of the world from their family. They learn about power and about justice, about peace and about compassion within the family. Whether we oppress or liberate our children in our relationships with them will determine whether they grow up to oppress and be oppressed or to liberate and be liberated.”

Children learn about the nature of the world from their family. They learn about power and about justice, about peace and about compassion within the family. Whether we oppress or liberate our children in our relationships with them will determine whether they grow up to oppress and be oppressed or to liberate and be liberated.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “To be neutral in a situation of injustice is to have chosen sides already. It is to support the status quo.”

To be neutral in a situation of injustice is to have chosen sides already. It is to support the status quo.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “If you recall the happiest moments in your life, they are all from when you were doing something for somebody else.”

If you recall the happiest moments in your life, they are all from when you were doing something for somebody else.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “Language is very powerful. Language does not just describe reality. Language creates the reality it describes.”

Language is very powerful. Language does not just describe reality. Language creates the reality it describes.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “It means a great deal 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.”

It means a great deal 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.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “Twenty-five years ago people could be excused for not knowing much, or doing much, about climate change. Today we have no excuse. No more can it be dismissed as science fiction; we are already feeling the effects.”

Twenty-five years ago people could be excused for not knowing much, or doing much, about climate change. Today we have no excuse. No more can it be dismissed as science fiction; we are already feeling the effects.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “The pressure to succeed has a lot to do with why people overstep the line. It is a peculiar weakness of western culture where we have made a fetish of success.”

The pressure to succeed has a lot to do with why people overstep the line. It is a peculiar weakness of western culture where we have made a fetish of success.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “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.”

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


Desmond Tutu Quote: “To treat anyone as if they were less than human, less than a brother or a sister, no matter what they have done, is to contravene the very laws of our humanity.”

To treat anyone as if they were less than human, less than a brother or a sister, no matter what they have done, is to contravene the very laws of our humanity.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “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.”

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


Desmond Tutu Quote: “Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.”

Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “I have absolutely no objection to performance and success as long as they don’t become false idols and threaten to rule our lives.”

I have absolutely no objection to performance and success as long as they don’t become false idols and threaten to rule our lives.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “Be nice to the whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity.”

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

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “It makes no sense to invest in fossil fuel companies that undermine our future.”

It makes no sense to invest in fossil fuel companies that undermine our future.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “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.”

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


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

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


Desmond Tutu Quote: “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.”

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


Desmond Tutu Quote: “The world is awful but also the world is beautiful. Human beings are awful, but ultimately human beings are tremendous.”

The world is awful but also the world is beautiful. Human beings are awful, but ultimately human beings are tremendous.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “Dear Child of God, I am sorry to say that suffering is not optional.”

Dear Child of God, I am sorry to say that suffering is not optional.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “Somewhere deep inside us we seem to know that we are destined for something better than strife.”

Somewhere deep inside us we seem to know that we are destined for something better than strife.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “People are not born hating each other and wishing to cause harm. It is a learned condition.”

People are not born hating each other and wishing to cause harm. It is a learned condition.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “In our own ways, we are all broken. Out of that brokenness, we hurt others. Forgiveness is the journey we take toward healing the broken parts. It is how we become whole again.”

In our own ways, we are all broken. Out of that brokenness, we hurt others. Forgiveness is the journey we take toward healing the broken parts. It is how we become whole again.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “The quality of human life on our planet is nothing more than the sum total of our daily interactions with one another. Each time we help, and each time we harm, we have a dramatic impact on our world.”

The quality of human life on our planet is nothing more than the sum total of our daily interactions with one another. Each time we help, and each time we harm, we have a dramatic impact on our world.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “There will be no future unless there is peace. There can be no peace unless there is reconciliation. But there can be no reconciliation before there is forgiveness. And there can be no forgiveness unless people repent.”

There will be no future unless there is peace. There can be no peace unless there is reconciliation. But there can be no reconciliation before there is forgiveness. And there can be no forgiveness unless people repent.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “God is not a diversion.”

God is not a diversion.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “It is a remarkable feat to be able to see past the inhumanity of the behavior and recognize the humanity of the person committing the atrocious acts. This is not weakness. This is heroic strength, the noblest strength of the human spirit.”

It is a remarkable feat to be able to see past the inhumanity of the behavior and recognize the humanity of the person committing the atrocious acts. This is not weakness. This is heroic strength, the noblest strength of the human spirit.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “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 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.

— Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu Quote: “Forgiveness is the only way to heal ourselves and to be free from the past. Without forgiveness, we remain tethered to the person who harmed us. We are bound to the chains of bitterness, tied together, trapped. Until we can forgive the person who harmed us, that person will hold the keys to our happiness, that person will be our jailor. When we forgive, we take back control of our own fate and our feelings. We become our own liberator.”

Forgiveness is the only way to heal ourselves and to be free from the past. Without forgiveness, we remain tethered to the person who harmed us. We are bound to the chains of bitterness, tied together, trapped. Until we can forgive the person who harmed us, that person will hold the keys to our happiness, that person will be our jailor. When we forgive, we take back control of our own fate and our feelings. We become our own liberator.

— Desmond Tutu

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