“Sometimes, when we watch the evening news and consume our daily diet of stories of intense violence, extremist and anti-social behaviour, we question our abilities to stop our collective plummet into the abyss. It may be true that, on our own, we can make but a relatively modest difference, something to which we should all aspire daily.
“But consider our power when we act together for common goals, when we view our diversity not as a threat but as the strength it is. The good news is that we were made for collectivism, for inter-dependence and common purpose. It doesn’t matter how we look, where we live, or to which religion we subscribe, we are ultimately members of one family, the human family, God’s family.
“Although many are they who over the centuries have sought to rationalise injustice, by claiming the backing of a vengeful or partisan God, I’ve yet to come across any religion that does not truly espouse peace, love and justice. As members of the human family we are born for goodness, no baby is born hating anyone or with ingrained prejudices besides what they are willing to eat. We teach our children to discriminate, we teach them to be racist and sexist, and we teach them to be greedy, to step on others where necessary to attain material advantage for themselves.
“Learned behaviour can be unlearned, it begins with our taking responsibility ourselves, in our homes, our neighbourhoods and communities, our clubs and societies, our organisations and companies and eventually our public policies and practices.
“On evenings when I don’t switch on the evening news, I tend to go to bed filled with hope, largely due to the young people I meet who seem to be seized with the task of righting the imbalances caused by us oldies. In my youth we were told good children should be seen but not heard, these days enabled by technology young people are connected to networks of friends around the world. Thankfully they have no qualms about shouting out about injustice.
“I thank God for the likes of you, active young citizens who will save God’s world that we’ve brought to the very brink of destruction. God bless RISING 15, God bless Coventry and God bless you!”
Watch Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s inspiring video message about peace, young people and hope in the world….