A man of hope and togetherness speaks out
A South African Anglican Cleric, theologian and one of the world’s leading human rights activists is leading the way for xRhythms inspirational person this week. This person is an amazing figure for Black History Month and I believe if we follow his teachings we would find ourselves in a safer and kinder world. That figure, is the truly amazing Desmond Tutu.
Born 7th October 1931 into a poor family, Desmond Tutu struggled with losing his siblings in infancy and the unreliable temper of his father. Whilst living on a school yard as his Father was employed as a principal of a Methodist school, Desmond discovered his love for learning and was considered very intelligent academically.
He decided to become a teacher.
His father couldn’t afford for him to train to be a doctor, so he decided to become a teacher instead. Although this may have disappointed Desmond Tutu at the time, because of this disappointment he is one of the most inspirational and well thought of teachers of all time.
This presents how important it is to follow your path and don’t be too disappointed if something doesn’t work out, maybe it’ll be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.
Tutu showed a great interest in Christianity and at the age of 12 he underwent his confirmation. Brainy Quote have referenced one of Tutu’s most famous quotes, “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”.
He used his knowledge and passion to achieve important roles within the church and society, such as Bishop of Johannesburg and Archbishop of Cape Town. In both cases he was the first black African to hold these positions and despite negative publicity he proved to be a strong and understanding leader. Tutu wanted togetherness more than anything and stood as an anti-apartheid activist because of this.
He used his negotiation skills.
Apartheid was racial segregation that enabled white hierarchy in South Africa. Desmond Tutu, like Nelson Mandela and many others, wanted to put an end to this. Instead of resorting to a race war, he used his negotiation skills and his practice as a teacher to create a transition to education and universal agreement.
He warned the National Party government that anger at apartheid would lead to racial violence and he stressed the answer would be non-violent protests and universal suffrage. Desmond Tutu believed that all humans deserved the same rights but was not prepared to lose any human life in gaining this. This was the way for all wars, but he wanted peace to be the key word.
Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his anti-apartheid activism and his work has paved the way for other generations to understand how important it is to spread love and joy rather than division and hate. He is an inspiration to us here at xRhythms and all over the world for his bravery and avoiding conflict to find a solution.
He ended up with a different career than he had planned.
He ended up with a different career than he had planned when he was younger, but in doing this he has made universal changes. Whichever path you follow, know that is was chosen for you and follow it proudly.