31 Mind Blowing Desmond Tutu Quotes

Tutu became most famous in the 1980s, for his outspoken opposition to apartheid. He was arrested on numerous occasions and was once held in an African concentration camp.

St. John was the first black Archbishop of Cape Town. He was also one of the first Black bishops in the Church of the Province of Southern Africa.

I read this book on the plane to and from Sydney, and found it to be a really good introduction to a great religion.

I am honored to be among the first to welcome, and to receive wisdom from, Desmond Tutu.

31 Mind Blowing Desmond Tutu Quotes

If you want peace in your life, don’t try and talk to your friends. Talk to your enemies.

Hope is how we overcome our problems. God’s plan is our hope. Our own ability to be hope filled is the light.

We are not in a hurry to be forgiven by God. He won’t come to us with His forgiveness.
If we want to be forgiven, we must ourselves forgive the people that hurt us.
We have to forgive ourselves that we are not perfect.
Because only when we are willing to be forgiven, will God be with us.
This is a great challenge for us humans.
But now, we have to be brave enough to forgive ourselves.

If you fail to work for justice, you will find yourself on the side of the oppressor.

If we are going to do more good in the world, we have to
stop thinking about ourselves and start thinking about
what we do for other people.
If you are going to do more good in the world, you have to stop thinking
about what you are going to do and start thinking about what we are going to do.
When you help somebody, you give them a way to grow and
you change yourself.

If we have faith in God then there is hope for those who are lost. As Christians we believe in forgiveness, a second chance. What a blessing!

The person raising their voice is actually improving the argument (or the whole situation).

So, we are all bound together in the same way that we are all one person bound together.

To have many supportive and loving relatives and friends to turn to in times of difficulty is a blessing.

10th of 31 Desmond Tutu Quotes

I’m not sure about this one. I’ll go with “You learn what you need to learn. You learn from history. You learn from the past and the way we have been living and the way we have been doing things. And every time we are going to change and we are going to change, we are learning.” I think that is what Desmond Tutu is saying.

Tutu said that he wasn’t interested in the crumbs of compassion that were thrown from those who consider themselves his master. He wanted the full menu of rights.

I think we have different points of view about what we’re trying to accomplish. I’m trying to make progress on these issues. I think you, on the other hand, are very reluctant to do this at any cost.

Even the best people will make poor decisions in times of war. A good leader knows that vigilance must be maintained to ensure the right decisions are made.

People are people because they recognize others as people.

God loves sinners, but he needs people to be repentant. He’s not looking for self righteousness. His standards are low, but we see a lot of people in heaven who have not been perfect in God’s eyes.

Tutu’s message, on this day, might be considered a bit ironic.
He was a former Anti-Apartheid leader who worked and lived with Mandela, a very black President of South Africa.

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

Desmond Tutu says that he leads by default, which is a better thing to say. When someone leads by default, there is not that much power in that one person. The leader needs to be much more in control than is the case when someone leads by default. A vacuum does not allow a place to be filled.

The second part of the question is asking what you do. If you want to talk about what you do, then ask about it.

We each have within us the capacity to be compassionate to others and to transform the world into a better place, but if we don’t have the love for others, we are only capable of doing so in our own self interest.

20th of 31 Desmond Tutu Quotes

Everyone is valuable. There is no one reason why all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Every human is important.

Everyone has opinions. You may not agree with me, but if you cannot voice your opinion without being an asshole, that’s a problem.

Jesus tells us that forgiveness is like opening the window to let the fresh air in. How do we open the window to let fresh air into our lives? Jesus tells us in 1 John 1:9 to “let anyone we forgive anything.” As we forgive others, our forgiveness enables us to receive the forgiveness that we need most.

What really matters isn’t about what others think of and exclude you, but how you respond and continue to grow.

When we see children, we think of their dreams about what they might become. We think of their dreams of what they might accomplish.

One of the greatest evils that we are capable of is in ourselves. We can perpetrate some of the most horrendous atrocities and crimes.

Tutu, at the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, said that he had called apartheid “inevitable and irremovable” at the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission held in the wake of the historic apartheid era. This statement caused a media storm when Tutu later said in a radio interview that he had never said what he’s quoted as saying at the ceremony.

Tutu explains that if you are in a meeting where you suspect the pile of cups is going to topple and someone utters the words “Do not disturb me” you will be held accountable when it happens.

There are so many people praying for me that it would be impossible for me to survive without their prayers and support.

29th of 31 Desmond Tutu Quotes

My definition of popular is people who have a lot of followers and don’t have many friends.

I was at college and all my friends were going out for a night of partying and drinking, so instead I went out for a walk. It was such a nice night and I loved it. All of a sudden, I found myself standing alone in the middle of the forest. Suddenly, I felt very lonely, so I went back to my dorm room to go to bed.

Universal education is not only a moral imperative, but an economic necessity, to protect citizens from exploitation and to make many nations self-sufficient and independent.


There are no words adequate to convey my gratitude to him, to all the people of South Africa who helped me on my first visit, particularly the women who helped me wash my feet. And to his wife Gratitude, for her kindness and hospitality.

I am also grateful to all the people of Africa, without whose generous hospitality I would never have been able to see the continent.

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