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.
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.
Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.
If you want peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.
We are made for goodness. We are made for love. We are made for friendliness. We are made for togetherness. We are made for all of the beautiful things that you and I know. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders. All are welcome: black, white, red, yellow, rich, poor, educated, not educated, male, female, gay, straight, all, all, all. We all belong to this family, this human family, God’s family.
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.
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.
One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently 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.
To remain neutral in situations of injustice is to be complicit in that injustice.
Our maturity will be judged by how well we are able to agree to disagree and yet continue to love one another, to care for one another, and cherish one another and seek the greater good of the other.
All of our humanity is dependent upon recognizing the humanity in others
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.
A person is a person through other persons. None of us comes into the world fully formed. We would not know how to think, or walk, or speak, or behave as human beings unless we learned it from other human beings. We need other human beings in order to be human. I am because other people are. A person is entitled to a stable community life, and the first of these communities is the family.
True peace must be anchored in justice and an unwavering commitment to universal rights for all humans, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin or any other identity attribute.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.
My father always used to say, “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.”
You are either on the side of the oppressed or on the side of the oppressor. You can’t be neutral.
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.
I can’t control what happens to me, but I can control how I respond to it.
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 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.
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.
Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.