Desmond Tutu is a South African Anglican theologian and preacher who is most recognized for his anti-apartheid and human rights activism.
From 1985 to 1986, he served as Bishop of Johannesburg, and from 1986 to 1996, he served as Archbishop of Cape Town, both times as the first black African to occupy the office.
In terms of theology, he aimed to combine concepts from black and African theology.
We have compiled a list of the top quotes from Desmond Tutu for you.
Best Desmond Tutu Quotes
“My father always used to say, “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.”” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” ~ (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).
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“If you want peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“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).
“God’s love is too great to be confined to any one side of a conflict or to any one religion.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“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).
“Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“The fundamental law of human beings is interdependence. A person is a person through other persons.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“Without memory, there is no healing. Without forgiveness, there is no future.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“There is no justice in killing in the name of justice.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“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).
Top Desmond Tutu Quotes
“Give young people a greater voice. They are the future and they are much wiser than we give them credit for.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“The world’s forests are a shared stolen treasure that we must put back for our children’s future.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“Inclusive, good-quality education is a foundation for dynamic and equitable societies.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“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).
“Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“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).
“Language is very powerful. Language does not just describe reality. Language creates the reality it describes.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“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).
Famous Desmond Tutu Quotes
“If you recall the happiest moments in your life, they are all from when you were doing something for somebody else.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“To be neutral in a situation of injustice is to have chosen sides already. It is to support the status quo.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“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).
“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).
“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).
“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).
Popular Desmond Tutu Quotes
“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).
“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).
“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).
“Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“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).
“Be nice to the whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“It makes no sense to invest in fossil fuel companies that undermine our future.” ~ (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).
“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).
“The world is awful but also the world is beautiful. Human beings are awful, but ultimately human beings are tremendous.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
Inspiring Desmond Tutu Quotes
“Dear Child of God, I am sorry to say that suffering is not optional.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“Symptoms of chronic stress are feelings of fragmentation and of chasing after time – of not being able to be present. What we are looking for is a settled, joyful state of being, and we need to give this state space. The Archbishop once told me that people often think he needs time to pray and reflect because he is a religious leader. He said those who must live in the marketplace – business people, professionals and workers – need it even more.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“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).
“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).
“We are fragile creatures, and it is from this weakness, not despite it, that we discover the possibility of true joy.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“Cultivate your forgiveness with your friends, with your family, with strangers, and with yourself. Remind yourself that every person you encounter carries a sorrow and a struggle. Recognize that we all share a fundamental humanity. Model the.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“Somewhere deep inside us we seem to know that we are destined for something better than strife.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“People are not born hating each other and wishing to cause harm. It is a learned condition.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).
“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).
“God is not a diversion.” ~ (Desmond Tutu).