There are people who inspire you in quiet ways, people who have no reason
at all to inspire you, but still, somehow they manage. TNC (as he’s
affectionately called by his readers and followers) is a senior editor for the
Atlantic. I subscribe to the Atlantic primarily to read his insightful essays
and musings. The topics vary, from Football to the Black Panthers, to musings
about hiphop and the intricacies of fatherhood.
Somehow he always
seems to get to the core of an issue, and he’s never afraid to ask the
difficult questions, even of himself. Maybe I’m being vain, but I’ve always
felt like his story mirrored my own in a way and that gives me hope.
His memoir ‘The Beautiful struggle’ is a truly
heartwarming story of his coming of age and it manages to be both emotionally
raw, yet truly uplifting. I check out his blog at least twice a day, and every
story/piece he writes always has me as an eager reader. The best thing I can
say about him is that he has inspired me to continue writing and I can only
hope that my writing and thinking approaches the quality of his.
We know what we are, that we walk like we are not long for
this world, that this world has never longed for us
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Desmond Tutu, a South African activist who first rose to prominence as a
result of his opposition to apartheid and would later become the first Black
archbishop of South Africa. During the apartheid era, he was a strident
opponent of the regime, but was avowedly dedicated to the use of non-violence.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has dedicated his life to the pursuit of peace
and the betterment of all mankind. In my darkest moments, when the evil of
people who professed themselves righteous had hardened my heart, I was glad for
people like Desmond Tutu. He has been a moral conscience not just of a nation
but of an entire planet.
He has shown through his actions that there is another way; a better way.
Being Christian and being compassionate are not mutually exclusive.
Christianity ought not to be solely a tool of majority oppression. I’ve learned
from my research about the disgraceful actions of the South African churches as
well as the Southern Baptists, who stridently supported both Apartheid and
Slavery. Their disgraceful actions are tempered by the actions of people like
Desmond Tutu, for whom religion is a force for good; a force for social change
and not merely a tool of the powerful to control the masses, but a catalyst for
positive social change. For these and other efforts, he has received quite a
few accolades, including but not limited to:
1979 – Honorary D.C. L., Harvard.
1980 – Prix d'Athene prize, Onassis Foundation, Greece.
1984 – Nobel Peace Prize, Norway.
1984 – Martin Luther King Jnr Humanitarian Award.
1986 – Ordained as the Archbishop of Cape Town.
1987-97 – President All Africa Conferences of Churches.
1988 – Chancellor of the University of Western Cape.
1989 – Joint recipient Third World Prize.
1996 – Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town.
1996 – Order for meritorious Service (Gold) from State President, Nelson
1992 – Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Award.
1998 – Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour from French President Jacques
1999 – The Sydney Peace Prize
2005 – Gandhi Peace Prize
2009 – Presidential Medal of
He has been active his entire life in the defence of human rights and has
campaigned to end racism, sexism, homophobia and poverty. In particular, he has
worked to reduce poverty in the developing world as well as aid in
reconstruction of war-torn areas and mediation in ongoing conflicts
(particularly in places such as Sudan, Somalia and Angola). He still continues
to this day to be actively involved in causes all over the world. More of his
history and work can be found as part of the South African History Project
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.