Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Tutu inspires youth to make a difference

On Sunday morning, Archbishop Desmond Tutu reminded the 3,000 youths attending PeaceJam that even small things can make a difference and that their actions will inspire others.

Gathered in Magness Arena, Tutu led a Ceremony of Inspiration in which he shared his thoughts on how today’s youth can change the world.

“Nobel laureates don’t float down from heaven. We were once like you,” said Tutu, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his leadership in efforts to find a nonviolent solution to the South African policy of apartheid.

“Many of us are appalled and overwhelmed by the extent of evil in this world,” he said, referring to wars, children dying of hunger and preventable diseases, and all those suffering from AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. But he told the group not to get overwhelmed, and he reminded them that “some of God’s best collaborators and partners have been young people.”

Tutu danced around on stage and urged the audience to yell out, “I will make a difference!” He also used analogies to inspire the youth to think big.

“The sea is made of drops of water that come together,” said Tutu, explaining that at first glance a drop of water may seem unimportant, but when the drops come together they create something powerful.

Tutu asked the group to “support struggles for justice everywhere” and to remember what inspires them to work at making a change.

Before the ceremony concluded, PeaceJammers were invited to join him on stage to share the things that inspire them. Many shared stories or quotes, and before stepping down, they embraced Tutu and lit a candle.

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