Tutu says, ‘You and I are created for goodness’
Watch the video of Desmond Tutu speaking at the Rotary World Peace Symposium on 18 June. You can embed this video on your Web site.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said Rotary's dedication to peace in the world makes God smile.
During his keynote address Thursday, 18 June, at the Rotary World Peace Symposium, Tutu shared how he envisions God looking down on His creation and crying when He sees all the bad things His children are doing to each other. But, Tutu said, then God looks again and sees Rotary.
"God begins to smile through His tears, and the sun shines through. God says that is exactly why I created them, for goodness," Tutu said. "You and I are created for goodness. You are helping wipe the tears from God's eyes."
Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient from South Africa, was the keynote speaker at the second Rotary World Peace Symposium in Birmingham, England. For two days, attendees will take part in discussion groups to share ideas and strategies for enhancing peace in the world. The event also builds stronger bonds between Rotary World Peace Fellows, Rotarians, and alumni through social events and networking.
Izabela Pereira, a 2005-07 peace fellow from Argentina, said it was not so much what Tutu said, but the way he said it, that impressed her.
"His way of approaching the subject is inspiring, refreshing," Pereira said. "He carries an immense air of authority that is overwhelming."
Francisco Benavides, a 2002-04 peace fellow from Mexico, said Tutu speaks with a lot of authority. "I think it is encouraging to see someone like him who has been fighting for peace as long as he has, who still believes there is hope."
Tutu also addressed terrorism, asserting that labeling groups as terrorists sometimes does more to hinder peace then help it. "One person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter," he said.
"When you negotiate, you are not negotiating with your friends. You are negotiating with your enemy -- and often, with the most loathsome enemy," he said. "You don't get to pick who represents the enemy."
Syeda Uddin, a 2002-04 peace fellow from the United States, found Tutu's candor refreshing.
"It is great he had the courage to say the things he said," she explained. "Some of the things he said were very controversial. But because of who he is, his words have an impact."