For many years, through some of the darkest times, the Arch and Mrs Tutu’s courage and love for all of humanity has been among South Africa’s brightest shining lights.
It is a light that apartheid could not extinguish, that has continued to shine for peace, truth and justice – and for one human family, and a sustainable planet – in a world of uncertainty, inequality and division.
It is a torch that the Arch and Mam’ uLeah want younger people to continue to carry. They have enormous faith in young people’s courage, powers and insight to see through the chaff and overcome the challenges created by their elders. Challenges including environmental degradation, gender bias, racism and extreme poverty…
That is why their Legacy Foundation has established the LIGHTS COURAGE ACTION platform. We want to hear what young people are thinking and saying. We want to understand their vision of the world now and looking toward the other side of the coronavirus pandemic, and share it with all of you to catalyze both talk and action.
Even amidst a deadly pandemic we must not lose focus on the urgent need for real healing, respect, opportunity and justice for all. Change begins in our hearts and our minds, when we accept our responsibilities to take action and do things – large and small – to make a positive difference. As the Arch often says, it doesn’t matter where we come from or what language, we are made for each other; we are inter-dependent.
The pandemic is a grim reminder of how inter-dependent we are. To get through it not only depends on our own set of behaviour choices, but also those of everyone else.
Each country has confronted the pandemic in its own way, depending on its circumstances and resources. But there are a few universal rules and actions to respect our shared humanity that should apply, such as wearing masks.
We have seen that in some countries and communities, people have politicised the wearing of masks. They are sowing confusion. We don’t just mask-up for ourselves; we wear masks to protect others, including our families and teachers.
“Please wear your masks,” was the Arch and Mam’ uLeah’s plea this week from their retirement home near Cape Town.
They’re wearing their masks, and continuing to shine their unextinguishable light.
Photograph: Wilma Jakobsen