54 Motivational Desmond Tutu Quotes For Success In Life

Desmond Mpilo Tutu OMSG CH GCStJ is a South African Anglican cleric and theologian known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. These Desmond Tutu quotes will motivate you.

Best Desmond Tutu Quotes

  1. “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
  2. “Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  3. “There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  4. “Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  5. “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
  6. “If you want peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.” ~ Desmond Tutu

  7. Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” ~ Desmond Tutu, Desmond Tutu quotes on hope
  8. “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
  9. “One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently 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
  10. “Dream of a world where poverty is history, dream of a world where we don’t spend those obscene billions on arms, knowing full well that a tiny fraction of those budgets of death would ensure that children everywhere had clean water to drink, could afford the cheap inoculations against preventable diseases, would have good schools, adequate healthcare and decent homes.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  11. “My father always used to say, “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.” ~ Desmond Tutu

  12. “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 quotes on forgiving
  13. “As much as the world has an instinct for evil and is a breeding ground for genocide, holocaust, slavery, racism, war, oppression, and injustice, the world has an even greater instinct for goodness, rebirth, mercy, beauty, truth, freedom and love.” ~ Desmond Tutu Quotes
  14. “Our maturity will be judged by how well we are able to agree to disagree and yet continue to love one another, to care for one another, and cherish one another and seek the greater good of the other.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  15. “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” ~ Desmond Tutu

  16. “Africans believe in something that is difficult to render in English. We call it ubuntu, both. It means the essence of being human. You know when it is there and when it is absent. It speaks about humaneness, gentleness, hospitality, putting yourself out on behalf of others, being vulnerable. It embraces compassion and toughness. It recognizes that my humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  17. “You are either on the side of the oppressed or on the side of the oppressor. You can’t be neutral.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  18. “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
  19. “There’s no way in which you can ever win a war against terror. As long as there are conditions in many parts of the world that make people desperate: poverty, disease, ignorance, etc. I hope that we will discover soon, that we can survive, only together. We can prosper only together. And I think people are beginning to realize this, that you can’t have pockets of prosperity in one part of the world and huge deserts of poverty and deprivation and think you can have a stable, secure world.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  20. “To remain neutral in situations of injustice is to be complicit in that injustice.” ~ Desmond Tutu

  21. “We are all connected. What unites us is our common humanity. I don’t want to oversimplify things – but the suffering of a mother who has lost her child is not dependent on her nationality, ethnicity or religion. White, black, rich, poor, Christian, Muslim or Jew – pain is pain – joy is joy.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  22. “Give young people a greater voice. They are the future and they are much wiser than we give them credit for.” ~ Desmond Tutu Quotes
  23. “The fundamental law of human beings is interdependence. A person is a person through other persons.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  24. “My message to the international community is that our silence and complicity especially on the situation in Gaza shames us all. It is almost like the behavior of the military junta in Burma” ~ Desmond Tutu
  25. “Forgiveness is abandoning your right to revenge.” ~ Desmond Tutu

  26. “We are living in a historic moment. We are each called to take part in a great transformation. Our survival as a species is threatened by global warming, economic meltdown, and an ever-increasing gap between rich and poor. Yet these threats offer an opportunity to awaken as an interconnected and beloved community.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  27. “Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language. It speaks of the very essence of being human…. you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, ‘My humanity is inextricably bound up in yours.’ We belong in a bundle of life.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  28. “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
  29. “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
  30. “Religion is like a knife: you can either use it to cut bread or stick in someone’s back.” ~ Desmond Tutu

  31. “Without memory, there is no healing. Without forgiveness, there is no future.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  32. “God’s love is too great to be confined to any one side of a conflict or to any one religion.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  33. “Instead of separation and division, all distinctions make for a rich diversity to be celebrated for the sake of the unity that underlies them. We are different so that we can know our need of one another.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  34. “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  35. “He’s a tremendous breath of fresh air. The things he [Pope Francis] has done in a short period of time: the fact that he does not live in a huge papal mansion and just dropped by in the dining room where ordinary people have meals. You think of his background, where he didn’t use limousines in South America, that he used public transport. I’m so, so thrilled that he is there at this crucial moment in the history of our world.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  36. “People often speak of God being even-handed. God is not even-handed. God is biased, in favor of the weak, of the despised.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  37. “People often speak of God being even-handed. God is not even-handed. God is biased, in favor of the weak, of the despised.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  38. “If we have loved well while we were alive, there is life after death here-our love will go on for generations.” ~ Desmond Tutu

  39. “We can encourage more of our universities and municipalities, foundations, corporations, individuals and cultural institutions… to move their money out of the problem (fossil fuels) and into the solutions (renewable energy)” ~ Desmond Tutu
  40. “To forgive is to abandon your right to pay back the predator in his own coin, but it is the loss that Liberates.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  41. “I can’t control what happens to me, but I can control how I respond to it.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  42. “We can carry the burden of hurt throughout our lives. We can make the hurt that we have experienced the defining aspect of our stories of ourselves. That means that somebody else gets to say who we are, somebody else gets to decide how we feel, and somebody else gets to decide how we see the world. Forgiveness not only frees us from the burden of someone else’s opinion of us, but it allows us the opportunity to really write a story of ourselves that we can love, enjoy, relish, and live into.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  43. “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.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  44. “If we could but recognize our common humanity, that we do belong together, that our destinies are bound up in one another’s, that we can be free only together, that we can be human only together, then a glorious world would come into being where all of us lived harmoniously together as members of one family, the human family.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  45. “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

  46. “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.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  47. “If you recall the happiest moments in your life, they are all from when you were doing something for somebody else.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  48. “We have a planet that is at risk, where resources don’t have a permanent life. We are going to have to make the decision: are we going to survive or are we waiting for our extinction? One day we will wake up and find people are fighting not for oil but water.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  49. “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
  50. “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
  51. “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” ~ Desmond Tutu

  52. “It isn’t that it’s questionable when you speak up for the right of people with different sexual orientations. People took some part of us and used it to discriminate against us. In our case, it was our ethnicity; it’s precisely the same thing for sexual orientation. People are killed because they’re gay.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  53. “You have to understand that the Bible is really a library of books and it has different categories of material. There are certain parts that you have to say no to. The Bible accepted slavery. St Paul said women should not speak in church at all and there are people who have used that to say women should not be ordained. There are many things that you shouldn’t accept.” ~ Desmond Tutu
  54. “The heart of the Christian Gospel is precise that God is the all-holy One; the all-powerful One is also the One full of mercy and compassion. He is not a neutral God inhabiting some inaccessible Mount Olympus. He is a God who cares about His children and cares enormously for the weak, the poor, the naked, the downtrodden, the despised. He takes their side not because they are good since many of them are demonstrably not so. He takes their side because He is that kind of God, and they have no one else to champion them.” ~ Desmond Tutu

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