(Host) Tuesday’s address by Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the University of Vermont emphasized that all humans are connected and need each other. In his address, the Nobel laureate and human rights activist told the capacity crowd that diversity and interdependence are central qualities to the human experience.
(Tutu) “We say in Africa, a person is a person through other persons. We are made for togetherness. We are made for friendship. We are made for fellowship. We are created to live in a delicate network of interdependence. And we are different precisely to know our need of one another. I have gifts that you don’t have. And you have gifts that I don’t have. And God you can almost hear saying, ‘Voila!’ No one can be totally self-sufficient. In fact, the totally self-sufficient human being is sub-human. You could almost say, diversity is the law of life.”
(Host) Archbishop Tutu also spoke on the subject of individual worth.
(Tutu) “Each one of us – everyone – whether we are beautiful, or not so beautiful, black, white, young, old, clever or not so clever – our worth is intrinsic. Our worth is infinite. And to treat one such – someone created in the image of God – to treat one such as less than human is not only evil, which is undoubtedly is, it is not only painful, as it certainly turns out most times for the victims. No! It is all of these things but more.”
(Host) Archbishop Tutu is renowned for his work to end South African Apartheid, and for his leadership in that country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Archbishop Tutu received honorary degrees from both the University of Vermont and Saint Michael’s College.