Archbishop Desmond Tutu reflects on the human dignity of each person as reflected in the other

As a created and precious child of God I have been blessed with a great sense of dignity.  Recognising that we are all created as sisters and brothers belong to a common humanity, leads us to treat one another with respect. Our sense of dignity is affirmed when our uniqueness is recognised and valued by those around us, as we all become global citizens.

Africans have something called Ubuntu. It captures the essence of being human. It embraces hospitality, caring about others, being able to go the extra mile for the sake of others. We believe that a person is a person through another person; that my humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with yours.

Respecting a person takes account of their feelings and experiences; their social situation; their ethnic, religious, and sexual identity, though they may be very different from my own.

The practice of Ubuntu demands an openmindedness that celebrates difference, recognising the validity of others’ circumstances and experiences. It recognises the uniqueness of each person and looks for the image of God in the other.

Most Reverend Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town


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