The Wit and Wisdom of Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu. Photo by Elke Wetzig (Elya) [CC-BY-SA-3.0] via Wikimedia.

Believe: The words and inspiration of Desmond TutuBelieve: The words and inspiration of Desmond Tutu by Desmond Tutu

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This short book includes an introduction by Desmond Tutu and a short biographical essay by Mike Nicol. The quotes are interesting and inspiring. It is a little like the Dover Wit and Wisdom series of books, although somewhat shorter. The most interesting quote concerns Ubuntu, "a central tenet of African philosophy:
A person is a person through other persons.
Many great thinkers influence these quotes, including Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Jeremy Bentham,. John Stuart Mill, and George Santayana. But my favourite quote (which echoes Mill) is:
Differences are not intended to separate or alienate. We are different precisely in order to realise our need of one another.
Although this is a very short book, I am glad I picked it up at my local second-hand bookstore and it has taught me a little about Desmond Tutu and courage and compassion in the face of terrible oppression.

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