It would be unjust of me to not share a tribute about a rebellious, passionate and zealous Archbishop. It was four years ago when I was informed that my contract of employment would not be extended. I stared blankly into the sky wondering what my next move would be. With the limited rands to my name. I purchased the international bestseller “The Book of Joy”-His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams.
The decision to purchase a book was not wise because unemployment had knocked on my door. I did not consider any financial implications at the time. I just needed “a pick me up” because the journey ahead was going to be challenging. I purchased the book with the little I had, and I did not regret it.
“The Book of Joy” is an encounter. It is no ordinary read you just purchase. It is a prescription to unlocking joy in all aspects of life. When you read “The Book of Joy” you have an encounter with your destiny. You begin to find ways of how to navigate life peacefully with a touch of humour. It unleashes a spirit of compassion that tackles some of the very difficult challenges of violence, exile and oppression.
“The Book of Joy” also exudes the beautiful friendship of two spiritual leaders. Spiritual leaders that hail from completely different parts of the world. Discussing a burning question of “how do we find joy in the face of suffering”.
Wonderful is the answer to this burning question.
Wonderful, yes, I said it.
In “The Book of Joy” Archbishop Tutu greeted every experience with the word “wonderful”. He appreciated life and always expressed his gratitude. He always emphasised how precious life is. His recognition of gratitude held every web of life and made it possible to experience every moment in life. He reiterated the beauty of gratitude allowing us to embrace our realities. He reminded us that suffering should give birth to empathy.
Tutu’s perspective on suffering gave meaning to life as a gift and every moment counts. He illustrated this by referring to the late icon Nelson Mandela. “Mandela and his fellow political prisoners had used their time to develop their mind and their character so that they would someday be ready to rule the country. They had seen it as an informal university”.-pg 244
My view of suffering changed completely because of Desmond Tutu.
Another ultimate lesson that the Archbishop taught was the gift of friendship. The ability to connect with people and get to know every aspect of their lives without judgment. To make meaningful connections that seek to reconcile hope and peace in the world. His friendship with his Holiness the Dalai Lama illustrates a powerful bond that cultivated equanimity in the face of adversity in the world. Generosity in friendship as a fundamental aspect of our need for one another to make the world a better place. The importance of establishing powerful connections to restore hope and humanity in the world.
A friendship on fire indeed.
Heaven has gained an angel. The world has been left with life-long lessons and I have been taught gratitude. I will forever remain grateful to you Archbishop. I hoped to have met you someday however, it was time to reconcile with your Father in Heaven. An amusing Father He is, welcoming you home on the 26th of December 2021 ‘the Day of Reconciliation’. My only hope is to someday cross paths with your friend his holiness the Dalai Lama.
Desmond Mpilo Tutu, thank you so much.