Inspirational stories, good and bad, from the Tutus

2010-08-04 00:00


Made for Goodness: And why this makes all the difference

Desmond and Mpho Tutu


“IRREPRESSIBLE” is a word used to describe Desmond Tutu, and this book captures that quality of “the Arch”. He is blessed with a joyful nature­ and a delightful sense of humour­, qualities that also come to the fore in this collection of stories from Desmond’s and Mpho’s youth and Desmond’s adult life, both private and public.

Like her father, Mpho is an Anglican priest, but based in the United States. The Tutus’ departure point is their faith in a loving God, about which they write with conviction and simplicity, yet without a sense of “preaching at” readers. The book provides people of all faiths (or, indeed, no deistic faith at all) with insight into what has moulded the man who has been called a “living saint”, and revered the world over, in a manner­ not unlike the way Madiba is revered.

It is not a book only for believers because it also contains pertinent reminders of how close South Africa came to “the abyss of racial conflagration” and how we pulled back from it.

Equally, believing and nonbelieving philosophers have through the centuries debated the question of whether we are born inherently good or inherently bad. The Tutus hold the fundamental belief that we are loved unconditionally by God, who created us with inherent goodness, and while human bad habits, degradation, and (to use its theological term) sin have marred this, we all have the potential to reclaim what God has intended us for. Desmond is also known for his belief in the ability of humanity to transcend the worst circumstances.

Despite this positive outlook, they acknowledge some people’s determination to achieve evil ends and nowhere do they minimise the evils that humans can do to one another. Therein, however, lies some of the work’s inspirational material: stories of those who have overcome the worst that people can do to one another, and flourished. The book manages to do this without setting impossible standards that are more likely to cause crippling guilt or shame than to inspire.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.