- October 8, 2010
- From the Team
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a longtime voice for peace and reconciliation in Africa and around our world, retired from public life today.
I once had the privilege of meeting Archbishop Tutu after hearing him speak on my college campus. Few interactions, especially so brief, have ever left such an impression.
More than recounting the story of how South Africa overcame apartheid or commenting on the sorry state of world affairs — both of which he also did — his words extended an invitation to those assembled to eschew the politics of cynicism and never give up hope in the capacity for people to see and do good. That unshakeable faith was at the root of his lifelong public witness.
A friend recently related another profound experience with Tutu. After visiting a camp for displaced Darfuris and hearing story after story of immense trauma and suffering from camp residents, my friend asked Tutu how one could cope or respond adequately. To her astonishment, he immediately grabbed her hands and began to dance with a determined joy.
I’m still wrestling with that one.
Thank you, Archbishop Tutu.