50 Spiritual and Motivational Desmond Tutu Quotes

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The world needs more Desmond Tutus in this world. Learn and be inspired from our latest collection of Desmond Tutu quotes.

Desmond Tutu is a very colorful character; and that’s not just because he wears a pink dress (or priest’s habit, that is). Desmond Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983. A courageous and widely admired man, he won this prestigious prize for battling apartheid in South Africa. He also bears the distinction of being the first black man to be the Archbishop of Cape Town and the Bishop of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa.

When he was a young boy, Tutu was standing in the street with his mother when parish priest Trevor Huddleston passed by. Tutu was taken aback when the white priest took off his hat to Tutu’s mother, who was then a humble cleaner for a school. “I couldn’t believe my eyes—a white man who greeted a black working class woman!”

Desmond Tutu then grew up to be a social rights activist and continued to fight for causes and for people even after the fall of apartheid. He campaigned for the fight towards tuberculosis, AIDS, HIV, homophobia, sexism, and so on.

Find out more about the man from these Desmond Tutu quotes.

I’ve never doubted that apartheid – because it was of itself fundamentally, intrinsically evil – was going to bite the dust eventually. – Desmond Tutu

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. – Desmond Tutu

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The universe can take quite a while to deliver. – Desmond Tutu

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

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See Also: 35 Inspiring Quotes about Family with Pictures 

In its history, Europe has committed so many massacres and horrors that it should bow its own head in shame. – Desmond Tutu

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. – Desmond Tutu

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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

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

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Peace comes when you talk to the guy you most hate. And that’s where the courage of a leader comes, because when you sit down with your enemy, you as a leader must already have very considerable confidence from your own constituency. – Desmond Tutu

A person is a person because he recognizes others as persons. – Desmond Tutu

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Be nice to whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity. – Desmond Tutu

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. – Desmond Tutu

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See Also: 30 Inspiring Quotes about Children – Children Quotes 

Many people would be surprised that, in fact, I’m quite shy. – Desmond Tutu

Without forgiveness, there’s no future. – Desmond Tutu

I am a leader by default, only because nature does not allow a vacuum. – Desmond Tutu

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I don’t think I’ve ever felt that same kind of peace, the kind of serenity that I felt after acknowledging that maybe I was going to die of this TB. – Desmond Tutu

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

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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

In the Bible, we first encounter God when he sides with a bunch of slaves against a powerful Pharaoh, an act of grace freely given. – Desmond Tutu

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

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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. – Desmond Tutu

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

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Europe became rich because it exploited Africa; and the Africans know that. – Desmond Tutu

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. – 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

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

But God can only smile because only God can know what is coming next. – Desmond Tutu

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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. – 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

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

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Isn’t it amazing that we are all made in God’s image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people?  – 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

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In many ways, when you’re a Nobel peace laureate, you have an obligation to humankind, to society. – Desmond Tutu

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

As human beings we have the most extraordinary capacity for evil. We can perpetrate some of the most horrendous atrocities. – Desmond Tutu

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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. – Desmond Tutu

In God’s family, there are no outsiders, no enemies. – Desmond Tutu

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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

We inhabit a universe that is characterized by diversity. – Desmond Tutu

You must show the world that you abhor fighting. – Desmond Tutu

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

God is not upset that Gandhi was not a Christian, because God is not a Christian! All of God’s children and their different faiths help us to realize the immensity of God. – Desmond Tutu

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God is patient with us to become the God’s children he wants us to be but you really can see him weeping. – Desmond Tutu

Before Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962, he was an angry, relatively young man. He founded the ANC’s military wing. When he was released, he surprised everyone because he was talking about reconciliation and forgiveness and not about revenge. – Desmond Tutu

It’s a blessing that South Africa has a man like Nelson Mandela. – Desmond Tutu

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Hate has no place in the house of God. – Desmond Tutu

For Christians, who believe they are created in the image of God, it is the Godhead, diversity in unity and the three-in-oneness of God, which we and all creation reflect. – Desmond Tutu

See Also: The Best God Quotes with Pictures

It is our moral obligation to give every child the very best education possible. – Desmond Tutu

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You stand out in the crowd only because you have these many, many carrying you on their shoulders. – Desmond Tutu

The God who existed before any religion counts on you to make the oneness of the human family known and celebrated. – Desmond Tutu

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