We mustn't romanticize suffering. It can turn people bitter and hard, although it does seem to have been almost indispensable in making people into the kind of leaders that we admire.
Forgiveness does not mean condoning what has been done. Forgiving means abandoning your right to pay back the perpetrator in his own coin.
It is for real that injustice and oppression will not have the last word. There was a time when Hitler looked like he was going to vanquish all of Europe, and where is he now?
To travel only a few blocks in his own homeland, an elderly grandfather waits to beg for the whim of a teenage soldier. More than an emergency is required to get to a hospital; less than a crime earns a trip to jail.
Continue reading the main story Advertisement Continue reading the main story The lucky ones have a permit to leave their squalor to work in the cities, but luck runs out when security closes all checkpoints, paralyzing an entire people. The indignities, dependence and anger are all too familiar.
Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring.
It may seem daunting, but I am a prisoner of hope. We are more connected than ever before, we have more knowledge, and there are solutions if we work together. Today's technology is a great asset in encouraging global cooperation and understanding.
People united in pursuit of a righteous cause are unstoppable.
Theology reminded me that, however diabolical the act, it did not turn the perpetrator into a demon. We had to distinguish between the deed and the perpetrator, between the sinner and the sin, to hate and condemn the sin while being filled with compassion for the sinner.
In our own ways, we are all broken. Out of that brokenness, we hurt others. Forgiveness is the journey we take toward healing the broken parts. It is how we become whole again.
He's a tremendous breath of fresh air. The things he Pope Francis has done in a short period of time: the fact that he does not live in a huge papal mansion and just dropped by in the dining room where ordinary people have meals. You think of his background, where he didn't use limousines in South America, that he used public transport. I'm so, so thrilled that he is there at this crucial moment in the history of our world.
Restorative justice says "No, the offense affected a relationship" and what you are seeking for is to restore the relationship, to heal the relationship.
I am not an afterthought I am not an accident.
When God grabs you by the scruff of the neck then although theoretically you have a freedom to say 'no', in another sense, actually, you can't say no because it's like Jeremiah. 'God, you have cheated me. You called me to be a prophet against the people that I love, and all that I proclaim is words of doom and judgement.' And yet if I say "I will shut up," I can't.
Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
We get most upset with those we love because they are close to us and we know that they are aware of our weaknesses... If only we could learn to live with our inadequacies, our frailties, our vulnerabilities, we would not need to try so hard to push away those who really know us.
Every situation of justice is an occasion where someone is being humiliated and they want to restore their dignity. They think, "I am a human being and I may not be able to defeat these people or destroy them, but I will hit out at them, because I am not a thing, I am human.
Forgiveness is simply about understanding that every one of us is both inherently good and inherently flawed.
Does taking the life of the perpetrator return your mom? No.
My father always used to say, "Don't raise your voice. Improve your argument.
Part 1. When we are willing to let down our defences and look honestly at our actions, we find there is a great freedom in asking for forgiveness and great strength in admitting the wrong.
Forgiveness and reconciliation are not just ethereal, spiritual, other-worldly activities. They have to do with the real world. They are realpolitik, because in a very real sense, without forgiveness, there is no future.
The acknowledgement that this person is English, white, or French, or German, this is Portuguese, this is Rwandan, this is Senegalese, this is a black South Africans is a glorious thing. To speak of those positively, to say that they have characteristics, each one of them, that the others almost always do not have, and that there is a complementarily about it.
Jesus could weep. Sometimes when you look at the ugliness that makes you weep, you know that the heart of God is also weeping. Jesus is for real. He does not give up on anyone, least of all on me.
Dream of a world where poverty is history, dream of a world where we don't spend those obscene billions on arms, knowing full well that a tiny fraction of those budgets of death would ensure that children everywhere had clean water to drink, could afford the cheap inoculations against preventable diseases, would have good schools, adequate healthcare and decent homes.
You are either on the side of the oppressed or on the side of the oppressor. You can't be neutral.
Human beings can be awful, but they can also be tremendous.
The quality of human life on our planet is nothing more than the sum total of our daily interactions with one another. Each time we help, and each time we harm, we have a dramatic impact on our world.
I think we need to grow in our self-assurance that is not scared of being challenged, that the truth we uphold can stand up to the closest possible scrutiny.
I wish that we did have a magic wand which we could wave and hey presto! Magic! Unfortunately life is not like that.
When you think of the KKK, they actually have as their emblem a fiery cross. And they don't see any contradiction between the cross, an instrument of suffering that procured our reconciliation with God, and its use as a symbol for nefarious attacks on black people. But they believe that they are being obedient to God because they can read things that they see.
I am fifty-two years of age. I am a bishop in the Anglican Church, and a few people might be constrained to say that I was reasonably responsible. In the land of my birth I cannot vote.
Be nice to the whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity.
We must not only speak about forgiveness and reconciliation, we must act on these principles.
There are things that must evoke our anger to show we care. It is what we do with that anger. If we direct that energy we can use it positively or destructively.
Many people would be surprised that, in fact, I'm quite shy.
It is very difficult now in South Africa to find anyone who ever supported apartheid.
Forgiveness is an absolute necessity for continued human existence.
Israel will never get true security and safety through oppressing another people. A true peace can ultimately be built only on justice. We condemn the violence of suicide bombers, and we condemn the corruption of young minds taught hatred; but we also condemn the violence of military incursions in the occupied lands, and the inhumanity that won't let ambulances reach the injured.
An abusive relationship should be easy to identify though often one of the most difficult to end.
And every human being is precious.
Dream! Dream! And then go for it!
It is by standing up for the rights of girls and women that we truly measure up as men.
If you are neutral in times of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
Most poor people I know are proud and really want not a handout but a hand up. They do have an inherent pride and dignity, and we should treat them as those who have fallen on bad days.
We have an extraordinary God. God is a mighty God, but this God needs you. When someone is hungry, bread doesn't come down from heaven. When God wants to feed the hungry, you and I must feed the hungry. And now God wants peace in the world.
The way sometimes we preach we make out that God is waiting eagerly to catch us out. It's not that way at all. I mean, it is extraordinary because it almost is as if God in fact wills us also to sin, but that is not true.
Without forgiveness, there is no future.
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.
It always comes back to our insecurities, as we say, "Oh, I'm not as good as you." So instead of accepting that perhaps I am not as good as someone else in some ways and being comfortable with who I am as I am, I spend all my time denigrating you, trying to cut you down to my self-perceived size. The sad problem is that we see ourselves as being quite terribly small. Instead of spending my time being envious, I need to celebrate your and my different gifts, even if mine are perhaps less spectacular than yours.
Dream of a world where children can laugh and play and not be blown up by a mine they thought was a toy.
It is through weakness and vulnerability that most of us learn empathy and compassion and discover our soul.
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.
We can arrive at better solutions to any problem or pain together, than we can by ourselves. The beauty of the modern age is that you are able to source answers, and sometimes the genius is in the combination of ideas and energy that does not reside in only one person.
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.
Africans believe in something that is difficult to render in English. We call it ubuntu, botho. It means the essence of being human. You know when it is there and when it is absent. It speaks about humaneness, gentleness, hospitality, putting yourself out on behalf of others, being vulnerable. It embraces compassion and toughness. It recognizes that my humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.
The moment our dignity is undermined, we get up in arms and want to see our dignity restored especially if we are humiliated.
All the United States, it is a society that is split like to the bottom, that had very poor people in the country that is one of the wealthiest countries.
Inclusive, good-quality education is a foundation for dynamic and equitable societies.
South Africa, so utterly improbably, is a beacon of hope in a dark and troubled world.
Sometimes you wish you could keep quiet. It's the kind of thing you heard the prophet Jeremiah complain of where he says, "You know God, I didn't want to be a prophet and you made me speak words of condemnation against a people I love deeply. Your word is like a fire burning in my breast.
God wants to set the oppressed free from being oppressed and the oppressors free from oppressing.
A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.
Oh, 1994, April 27. There won't be a day like that ever again. I mean, the sky was blue, with a blueness that had never been there before.
Love your enemy; it will ruin his reputation.
Trust is one of the fundamentals of human existence. We need to be able to trust one another. A man who can no longer trust anyone will become sick.
Fundamental rights belong to the human being just because you are a human being.
I think that most of us would say that ubuntu basically speaks about what it means to be human.
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.
Some people are able to use Bible as a means of opposing injustice, whereas others are able to find justification.
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.
Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.
We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low.
The future of our fragile, beautiful planet home is in our hands. As God's family, we are stewards of God's creation. We can be wantonly irresponsible, or we can be caring and compassionate. God says, "I have set before you life and death... Choose life.
A person who is assured of the love of God will see his fellow men in a different light and treat them and himself differently, and of course this also applies to business leaders.
Our parents will maybe sometimes when they are upset with us and we have been troublesome say something like "Mommy really doesn't like a naughty child." And we think that we have to earn the approval, earn the love of our parents. And then we transfer it to God and think we have to earn... We don't have to earn it! God loves us.
If forgiving depended on the culprit owning up, then the victim would always be at the mercy of the perpetrator. The victim would be bound in the shackles of victimhood.
Stability and peace in our land will not come from the barrel of a gun, because peace without justice is an impossibility.
When you nurse a grudge it is not good for your health.
People are not born hating each other and wishing to cause harm. It is a learned condition.
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.
If you recall the happiest moments in your life, they are all from when you were doing something for somebody else.
All modern humans are related to what scientists call "Mitochondrial Eve." This refers to our common matrilineal ancestor. She lived approximately 200,000 years ago and depending on how you estimate the length of a generation, we are only 5,000 to 10,000 generations from one another. To put it another way, each of us is a cousin of one another at most 10,000 times removed. And yes, Mitochondrial Eve lived in Africa, so, in a very real way, we are all Africans.
As the victim, you offer the gift of your forgiving to the perpetrator who may or may not appropriate the gift but it has been offered and thereby it liberates the victim.
Somewhere deep inside us we seem to know that we are destined for something better than strife.
Many people ask me what I have learned from all of the experiences in my life, and I say unhesitatingly: People are wonderful. It is true. People really are wonderful.
It was Christians, you know, not Pagans, who were responsible for the Holocaust. It was Christians, not Pagans, who lynched people here in the South, who burned people at the stake, frequently in the name of this Jesus Christ.
Ubuntu tells us that we can create a more peaceful world by striving for goodness in each moment, wherever we are.
If you want to keep people subjugated, the last thing you place in their hands is a Bible. There's nothing more radical, nothing more revolutionary, nothing more subversive against injustice and oppression than the Bible.
I can't for the life of me imagine that God would say, 'I will punish you because you are black; you should have been white. I will punish you because you are a woman; you should have been a man. I punish you because you are homosexual; you ought to have been heterosexual. I can't, I can't for the life of me believe that that is how God sees things.
The time has now come to slow down, to sip Rooibos tea with my beloved wife in the afternoons, to watch cricket, to travel to visit my children and grandchildren, rather than to conferences and conventions and university campuses.
I've often been a little concerned by people who say they are color-blind, people who claim, in some ways, not to be aware of race, and I hope that those who will be looking for a vision of the future will be a little more honest, and say race actually does matter.
If you do not for give you actually are tying yourself to the perpetrator, that you are going to live your life as a victim. And you won't experience a liberation that comes from forgiving.
As much as the world has an instinct for evil and is a breeding ground for genocide, holocaust, slavery, racism, war, oppression, and injustice, the world has an even greateer instinct for goodness, rebirth, mercy, beauty, truth, freedom and love.
Once lost, trust can only be regained if we are as good as our word.
Serve others. The failing recipe for happiness and success is to want the good of others.
The abolition of the death penalty is making us a civilized society. It shows we actually do mean business when we say we have reverence for life.
We are all afflicted by original sin; people succumbing to temptations to do and to be.
Ubuntu really says if you want to be nice to yourself, start in a way by being nice to the other.
God is forever using especially young people, not oldies like us, God likes using young people.
Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language. It speaks of the very essence of being human.... you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, 'My humanity is inextricably bound up in yours.' We belong in a bundle of life.
In my country of South Africa, we struggled for years against the evil system of apartheid that divided human beings, children of the same God, by racial classification and then denied many of them fundamental human rights.
Don't raise your voice, improve your argument.
In God's family, there are no outsiders, no enemies.
You will find that the Bible, if you want it to, will justify many things. St. Paul had a very male chauvinistic view of women. He would say things like women must not talk in church, must cover their heads, they mustn't talk and must remember that it was a woman who first tempted and this whole mess started because women messed us up. So you can read it in such a way that it justifies polygamy.
God places us in the world as his fellow workers-agents of transfiguration. We work with God so that injustice is transfigured into justice, so there will be more compassion and caring, that there will be more laughter and joy, that there will be more togetherness in God's world.
If we are going to see real development in the world then our best investment is WOMEN!
There is only one way to eat an elephant, a bite at a time.
God says "This is what I would love you to be, but I am not going to constrain you. I want it to be your choice." And it is a fantastic thing because even at the moment when I am making the choice to reject God, I would depend from moment to moment, you know that beautiful image of God creating by breathing God's breath into this lump of clay, making it a human being.
Because there is global insecurity, nations are engaged in a mad arms race, spending billions of dollars wastefully on instruments of destruction, when millions are starving. And yet, just a fraction of what is expended so obscenely on defense budgets would make the difference in enabling God's children to fill their stomachs, be educated, and given the chance to lead fulfilled and happy lives.
Forgiving is a gift to the forgiver as well as to the perpetrator.
My message to the international community is that our silence and complicity especially on the situation in Gaza shames us all. It is almost like the behaviour of the military junta in Burma.
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.
What we try to do as Elders is help those who are trying to change their own societies and communities for the better. We hope that by supporting the good work that is being done, especially at the grass roots, we can help to alleviate the suffering of human beings. That is our core mission -- to draw attention to the impact that conflict, injustice and poverty have on ordinary people.
As human beings we have the most extraordinary capacity for evil. We can perpetrate some of the most horrendous atrocities.
There are times when all of us have been thoughtless, selfish or cruel. But no act is unforgivable; no person is beyond redemption.
I'm so thankful a significant majority of Americans are saying no to military intervention. We've got to find a solution that will in the end be one that makes Syria a better country, a better people.
Symptoms of chronic stress are feelings of fragmentation and of chasing after time -- of not being able to be present. What we are looking for is a settled, joyful state of being, and we need to give this state space. The Archbishop once told me that people often think he needs time to pray and reflect because he is a religious leader. He said those who must live in the marketplace -- business people, professionals and workers -- need it even more.
People in apartheid South Africa can tell you that God cursed black people when they cursed Him. And so the hermetic people were condemned to be drawers of water and of wood.
But God can only smile because only God can know what is coming next.
In the end what matters is not how good we are but how good God is. Not how much we love Him but how much He loves us. And God loves us whoever we are, whatever we've done or failed to do, whatever we believe or can't.
When you think of the sort of things that happen when a genocide happens, it's again not people who are intrinsically evil.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.
The pressure to succeed has a lot to do with why people overstep the line. It is a peculiar weakness of western culture where we have made a fetish of success.
We are living in an historic moment. We are each called to take part in a great transformation. Our survival as a species is threatened by global warming, economic meltdown, and an ever-increasing gap between rich and poor. Yet these threats offer an opportunity to awaken as an interconnected and beloved community.
What is black empowerment when it seems to benefit not the vast majority but an elite that tends to be recycled?
Dear Child of God, I am sorry to say that suffering is not optional.
It means a great deal to those who are oppressed to know that they are not alone. And never let anyone tell you that what you are doing is insignificant.
I believe in MasterPeace. World leaders cannot push back armed conflict alone. We need the whole world to make this happen.
If we have loved well while we were alive, there is life after death here-our love will go on for generations.
If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn't worship that God.
The world's forests are a shared stolen treasure that we must put back for our children's future.
We must stop climate change. And we can, if we use the tactics that worked in South Africa against the worst carbon emitters.
Discovering more joy does not, save us from the inevitability of hardship and heartbreak. In fact, we may cry more easily, but we will laugh more easily too. Perhaps we are just more alive. Yet as we discover more joy, we can face suffering in a way that ennobles rather than embitters. We have hardship without becoming hard. We have heartbreaks without being broken.
You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.
Every single one of us can do something, however small, to make a difference.
Freedom is indivisible. Whites can't enjoy their separate freedoms. They spend too much time and resources defending those freedoms instead of enjoying them.
Bringing people together is what i call ‘ubuntu,' which means ‘I am because we are.' Far too often people think of themselves as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.
True forgiveness deals with the past, all of the past, to make the future possible. We cannot go on nursing grudges even vicariously for those who cannot speak for themselves any longer. We have to accept that we do what we do for generations past, present and yet to come. That is what makes a community a community or a people a people-for better or for worse.
There's no way in which you can ever win a war against terror. As long as there are conditions in many parts of the world that make people desperate: poverty, disease, ignorance, etc. I hope that we will discover soon, that we can survive, only together. We can prosper only together. And I think people are beginning to realize this, that you can't have pockets of prosperity in one part of the world and huge deserts of poverty and deprivation and think you can have a stable, secure world.
You ask when is it that you can say yes we have had enough. It is enough revenge and I think now we have restored the equilibrium. It never happens!
We were made to enjoy music, to enjoy beautiful sunsets, to enjoy looking at the billows of the sea and to be thrilled with a rose that is bedecked with dew.
You don't think we have a copyright to forgiveness, it is done by people everywhere.
The universe can take quite a while to deliver.
For both the offender and the victim, the pain is there, often unacknowledged and that is when it can cause harm through festering. When I ignore a physical wound, it does not go away. No, it festers and goes bad.
We learn from history that we don't learn from history!
I am passionately opposed to the death penalty for anyone. I think, myself, that it is an obscenity.
When we see others as the enemy, we risk becoming what we hate. When we oppress others, we end up oppressing ourselves. All of our humanity is dependent upon recognizing the humanity in others.
One of the things that people sense is that you are not doing this for self-glorification, you are doing it for the sake of others. The Dalai Lama has been in exile for so many years, yet the Chinese are running scared of him.
Arrogance really comes from insecurity, and in the end our feeling
that we are bigger than others is really the flip side of our feeling that we are smaller than others.
A time of crisis is not just a time of anxiety and worry.
It gives a chance, an opportunity, to choose well or to choose badly.
My flock is black, my flock is white. One has got to say to our people, "I love you. I care for you, enormously." And when I care about black liberation, it is because I care about white liberation.
We must not allow ourselves to become like the system we oppose.
We must not allow ourselves to become like the system we oppose. We cannot afford to use methods of which we will be ashamed when we look back, when we say, '...we shouldn't have done that.'
My vote is my secret.
Until we can forgive, we remain locked in our pain and locked out of the possibility of experiencing healing and freedom, locked out of the possibility of being at peace.
In terms of the New Testament the Jews must suffer, therefore we will put it into practice if we will in charge and there will be no sympathy for the Jews when the blacks take over.
Having looked the past in the eye, having asked for forgiveness and having made amends, let us shut the door on the past--not in order to forget it but in order not to allow it to imprison us.
People sometimes strive after and think they will find deep satisfaction for their psyches in wealth, sex or drugs, but then find that ultimately these things do not satisfy human longings.
When I talk of forgiveness I mean the belief that you can come out the other side ... a better person than the one being consumed by anger and hatred. Remaining in that state locks you in a state of victimhood, making you almost dependent on the perpetrator. If you can find it in yourself to forgive then you are no longer chained to the perpetrator. You can move on.
Human beings have a vested interest in being trustworthy.
Have you seen a symphony orchestra? There is a person at the back carrying a triangle. Now and again the conductor will point to him or her and that person will play "ting." That might seem so insignificant, but in the conception of the composer something irreplaceable would be lost to the total beauty of the symphony if that "ting" did not happen.
Like when you sit in front of a fire in winter -- you are just there in front of the fire. You don't have to be smart or anything. The fire warms you.
I have absolutely no objection to performance and success as long as they don't become false idols and threaten to rule our lives.
You are not an afterthought, you are not an accident.
The simple truth is, we all make mistakes, and we all need forgiveness.
You know when ubuntu is there, and it is obvious when it is absent. It has to do with what it means to be truly human, to know that you are bound up with others in the bundle of life.
Give young people a greater voice. They are the future and they are much wiser than we give them credit for.
And God says to all of us, you are no chicken; you are an eagle. Fly, eagle, fly. And God wants us to shake ourselves, spread our pinions, and then lift off and soar and rise, and rise toward the confident and the good and the beautiful. Rise towards the compassionate and the gentle and the caring. Rise to become what God intends us to be -- eagles, not chickens.
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.
In order to turn around and do something better, we must first escape the vicious circle of self-righteousness and denial. And that calls for the humility to say "I'm sorry. Please forgive me.
In South Africa, we could not have achieved our freedom and just peace without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the Apartheid regime.
Every praying person, every person who has an encounter with God, must have a passionate concern for his or her brother and sister, his or her neighbor. To treat any of these as if he were less than the child of God is to deny the validity of one's spiritual existence.
To forgive is to abandon your right to pay back the predator in his own coin, but it is the loss that Liberates.
As a Christian, I believe in the sanctity of life and that death is a part of life.
I am a Nobel Peace laureate and my business should be to try to bring stability, not to be a red rag to bulls.
Freedom translates into having a supply of clean water, having electricity on tap; being able to live in a decent home and have a good job; to be able to send your children to school and to have accessible healthcare. I mean what's the point of having made this transition if the quality of life is not enhanced and improved? If not, the vote is useless.
We would like to see you departing peacefully.
History, like beauty, depends largely on the beholder, so when you read that, for example, David Livingstone discovered the Victoria Falls, you might be forgiven for thinking that there was nobody around the Falls until Livingstone arrived on the scene.
I would hope that wherever I was I would be me. I have been influenced by some wonderful people who showed me that there is an integral relationship between faith and life at home. Evil is evil, repression is repression anywhere. And if it is not consistent with what one believes is God's will, then I would hope that one would be able to witness it, and there are wonderful people who do so in very great risks to themselves.
Part 2. It is how we free ourselves from our past errors. It is how we are able to move forward into our future, unfettered by the mistakes we have made.
What the Dalai Lama and I are offering," the Archbishop added, "is a way of handling your worries: thinking about others. You can think about others who are in a similar situation or perhaps even in a worse situation, but who have survived, even thrived. It does help quite a lot to see yourself as part of a greater whole." Once again, the path of joy was connection and the path of sorrow was separation. When we see others as separate, they become a threat. When we see others as part of us, as connected, as interdependent, then there is no challenge we cannot face--together.
Catharsis returns us to the purpose for which were originally intended -- to be called by God to do good -- and thus ultimately returns us to ourselves.
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.
I'm so, so thrilled that Pope Francis is there at this crucial moment in the history of our world.
It's a fantastic thing, a very simple idea. Irrespective of your politics, of your culture, of your race, of your whatever, hierdie ding doen ons saam...Here is one thing that can unite us irrespective of all of the things that are trying to tear us apart.
This is a moral universe, which means that, despite all the evidence that seems to be to the contrary, there is no way that evil and injustice and oppression and lies can have the last word.
When we look squarely at injustice and get involved, we actually feel less pain, not more, because we overcome the gnawing guilt and despair that festers under our numbness. We clean the wound -- our own and others' -- and it can finally heal.
It's a blessing that South Africa has a man like Nelson Mandela.
There is no peace precisely because there has been no justice. As painful and inconvenient as justice may be, we have seen that the alternative allowing accountability to fall by the wayside is worse.
There is no peace in Southern Africa. There is no peace because there is no justice. There can be no real peace and security until there be first justice enjoyed by all the inhabitants of that beautiful land. The Bible knows nothing about peace without justice, for that would be crying "peace, peace, where there is no peace". God's Shalom, peace, involves inevitably righteousness, justice, wholeness, fullness of life, participation in decision-making, goodness, laughter, joy, compassion, sharing and reconciliation.
It is not easy to admit one's wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness. "I am sorry" are perhaps the three hardest words to say.
It is our moral obligation to give every child the very best education possible.
All of our humanity is dependent upon recognizing the humanity in others.
Making the truth public is a form of justice. This is a moral universe and you've got to take account of the fact that truth and lies and goodness and evil are things that matter.
Hate has no place in the house of God.
That's the chief lesson I have learned: the texture of our universe is one where there is no question at all but that good and laughter and justice will prevail.
When you go to the Holy Land and see what's being done to the Palestinians at checkpoints, for us, it's the kind of thing we experienced in South Africa. Whether you want to say Israel practices apartheid is immaterial. They are doing things, given their history, you think, "Do you remember what happened to you?" Then they clobber you and say, "You are anti-Semitic.
I pray that politicians, lawmakers and religious leaders have the courage to support the choices terminally ill citizens make in departing Mother Earth with dignity and love.
We struggled against apartheid because we were being blamed and made to suffer for something we could do nothing about. It is the same with homosexuality. The orientation is a given, not a matter of choice. It would be crazy for someone to choose to be gay, given the homophobia that is present.
When people see what is happening in Gaza, that can't make you too fond of the perpetrators -- the Israelis. If you are a Muslim and you look at what is happening there, it fills you with a lot of resentment. Especially if you are weak, then you are nursing these grudges and you are increasing in bitterness and look for a chance to get your own back.
Sometimes you want to whisper in God's ear, 'God, we know you are in charge, but why don't you make it slightly more obvious?'
I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven.
I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place.
The devastation wreaked by landmines is not only horrendous but immoral.
People often speak of God being even-handed. God is not even-handed. God is biased, in favor of the weak, of the despised.
I have no doubt that in the future, the laws that criminalize human love and commitment will look the way the apartheid laws do to us now, so obviously wrong.
To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice.
Each of us has a God-shaped space within us. Only God can fill that space. But we run ourselves ragged trying to find things other than God to fill it with.
Too frequently we think we have to do spectacular things. Yet if we remember that the sea is actually made up of drops of water and each drop counts, each one of us can do our little bit where we are. Those little bits can come together and almost overwhelm the world. Each one of us can be an oasis of peace.
There would be no call for ecological campaigning had nature not been exploited and abused. We experience the ground now bringing forth thistles as soil erosion devastates formerly arable land and deserts overtake fertile farms. Rivers and the atmosphere are polluted thoughtlessly and we are fearful of the consequences of a depleted ozone layer and the devastation of the greenhouse effect. We are not quite at home in our world, and somewhere in each of us there is a nostalgia for a paradise that has been lost.
It isn't that it's questionable when you speak up for the right of people with different sexual orientation. People took some part of us and used it to discriminate against us. In our case, it was our ethnicity; it's precisely the same thing for sexual orientation. People are killed because they're gay.
I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't.
In many ways, when you're a Nobel peace laureate, you have an obligation to humankind, to society.
If we could but recognize our common humanity, that we do belong together, that our destinies are bound up in one another's, that we can be free only together, that we can be human only together, then a glorious world would come into being where all of us lived harmoniously together as members of one family, the human family.
It's a fantastic thing that from moment to the next moment if God were to have stopped for a split second we would disintegrate into nothingness. And the incredible thing is that God breaths this breath and keeps each of us in existence, in being, even when we chose to reject God. Now if I had that kind of power I would snuff you out! But God doesn't.
And one day, this thing happened to me: I coughed, and the blood just came gushing out of my mouth. ... I still can't believe that that happened to me, but I sat there, and I said to God, 'Well, if it means I'm going to die, that's OK.' 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.
Our Christian faith is actually very subversive of the conventional notion of success -- the notion that what invests a person with worth is something extrinsic.
God has been incredible in creating us to be persons.
Let girls be girls and not brides.
There's no question about the reality of evil, of injustice, of suffering, but at the center of this existence is a heart beating with love. That you and I and all of us are incredible. I mean, we really are remarkable things. That we are, as a matter of fact, made for goodness.
God looks at the Middle East, looks at Palestine. When you go to the Holy Land and see what's being done to the Palestinians at checkpoints, for us, it's the kind of thing we experienced in South Africa.
You should never hate yourself for hating others who do terrible things: the depth of your love is shown by the extent of your anger.
The only separation the Bible knows is between believers on the one hand and unbelievers on the other. Any other kind of separation, division, disunity is of the devil. It is evil and from sin.
I've never doubted that apartheid -- because it was of itself fundamentally, intrinsically evil -- was going to bite the dust eventually.
Now that they talk about Islam as being a violent faith, when you look at the history of Christendom, the Crusades and the many wars of religion that were fought, the cruelty of Christians in burning what they believed to be witches and burning heretics, and then very recently they were responsible for the Holocaust... it was Christians.
I think that most of us would prefer to be popular than unpopular.
When we look at a conflict, it is so often rooted in injustice, prejudice, competition for resources, poverty, poor governance and corruption.
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.
Life is more than breath and a heartbeat; meaning and purpose are the life of life.
People took some part of us and used it to discriminate against us. In our case, it was our ethnicity; it's precisely the same thing for sexual orientation.
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.
There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they're falling in.
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.
You have seen after Katrina just what failures there are in American Society.
I don't want a moratorium on the death penalty. I want the abolition of it. I can't understand why a country USA that's so committed to human rights doesn't find the death penalty an obscenity.
Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.
I often accompanied my father. I really liked riding with him on his bicycle on Saturdays. He was very fond of fishing. I don't think I liked fishing. I mean, you had to sit quietly and still, but I enjoyed the ride. And it was fun, it was fun. I mean, as I say, you didn't go around lugging a deep sense of resentment. We knew, yes, we were deprived. It wasn't the same thing for white kids, but it was as full a life as you could make it. I mean, we made toys for ourselves with wires, making cars, and you really were exploding with joy!
The reprisal against the suicide bomber does not bring peace. There is a suicide bomber, a reprisal and then a counter-reprisal. And it just goes on and on.
Never let anyone make you feel inferior for being who you are. When you live the life you were meant to live, in freedom and dignity.
I hope that when the time comes, I am treated with compassion and allowed to pass on to the next phase of life's journey in the manner of my choice.