Quotes by 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

Don't raise your voice. Improve your argument.
– Desmond Tutu
A person is a person because he recognizes others as persons.
– Desmond Tutu
Be nice to the whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity.
– Desmond Tutu
For goodness sake, will they hear, will white people hear what we are trying to say? Please, all we are asking you to do is to recognize that we are humans, too.
– Desmond Tutu
I am a leader by default, only because nature does not allow a vacuum.
– 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
I don't preach a social gospel; I preach the Gospel, period. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the whole person. When people were hungry, Jesus didn't say, Now is that political or social? He said, I feed you. Because the good news to a hungry person is bread.
– 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
In the land of my birth I cannot vote, whereas a young person of eighteen can vote. And why? Because he or she possesses that wonderful biological attribute - a white skin.
– Desmond Tutu
Those who invest in South Africa should not think they are doing us a favor; they are here for what they get out of our cheap and abundant labor, and they should know that they are buttressing one of the most vicious systems.
– 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
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
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
You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.
– Desmond Tutu
Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.
– Desmond Tutu
Without forgiveness, there's no future.
– Desmond Tutu
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
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
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
– Desmond Tutu