Sir Desmond Mpilo Tutu OMSG CH GCStJ (born 7 October 1931) is a South African Anglican cleric and theologian, known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. He was the Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then the Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996, in both cases being the first black African to hold the position.

Here are 30 inspiring and insightful quotes from Sir Desmond:

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

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

3. “Without forgiveness, there is no future.” 

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

5. “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

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

7. “My father used to say, don’t raise your voice; improve your argument.”

8. “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human.”

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

10. “We learn from history that we don’t learn from history!”

11. “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.”

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

13. “Freedom and liberty lose out by default because good people are not vigilant.”

14. “A person is a person because he recognizes others as persons.”

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

16. “Be nice to whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity.”

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

18. “I am a leader by default, only because nature does not allow a vacuum.”

19. “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.”

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

21. “I wish I could shut up, but I can’t, and I won’t.”

22. “Because forgiveness is like this: a room can be dank because you have closed the windows, you’ve closed the curtains. But the sun is shining outside, and the air is fresh outside. In order to get that fresh air, you have to get up and open the window and draw the curtains apart.”

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

24. “When we see the face of a child, we think of the future. We think of their dreams about what they might become, and what they might accomplish.”

25. “As human beings we have the most extraordinary capacity for evil. We can perpetrate some of the most horrendous atrocities.”

26. “The minute you got the Nobel Peace Prize, things that I said yesterday, with nobody paying too much attention, I say the same things after I got it – oh! It was quite crucial for people, and it helped our morale because apartheid did look invincible.”

27. “When a pile of cups is tottering on the edge of the table and you warn that they will crash to the ground, in South Africa you are blamed when that happens.”

28. “I certainly know that I would not be able to survive if it were not for the fact that I am being upheld by the prayers of so many people.”

29. “I think that most of us would prefer to be popular than unpopular”

30. “You stand out in the crowd only because you have these many, many carrying you on their shoulders.”

By Dan Western

Adapted from: 31 Mind Blowing Desmond Tutu Quotes (2021) | Wealthy Gorilla