Friday, December 31, 2021


DESMOND TUTU--LESSONS for 2022 and beyond


Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1931 to 2021)--a memorable, admirable human.

Amazingly, I was able to connect with him, along with many others in my town (Tacoma, Washington) in the 1980’s. At the invitation of Annie Wright School, an Episcopalian institution in Tacoma, Tutu came to town for two or three days of speaking and mingling with students. Annie Wright agreed to offer Bishop Tutu to the neighboring University of Puget Sound for an evening banquet and address. Somehow, the administration allowed me, then a faculty member at U.P.S., to drive the bishop in my small Volvo from Annie Wright to the university campus and back to his room at Annie Wright . This gave me the unbelievable opportunity of speaking in person with Bishop Tutu.

Desmond Tutu

Announcement of his death prompted me to remember being in the presence of Fr.  Tutu.  He was easy to converse with.   “Joke with” might be a better term. He displayed a great, relaxed sense of humor and a hearty laugh.

 Looking at 2022, what lessons might we learn from Desmond Tutu’s example? Remain jolly, and keep the value of justice foremost. Work for realization of justice in human society and for earth-care in the human-environmental relationship. Be realistic but optimistic. Be faithful.  

 I’m inspired by his life and his testimony--and am so fortunate to have met him in person.



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