Aloha!…just landed from a long trip to Honolulu, Hawaii where I stayed for a week and had the honor and pleasure to visit a lecture given by the American Psychiatric Association at the Hawaii Convention Centre. Special guest was Archbishop Tutu who delivered the William C. Menninger Memorial Convocation Lecture. He had a message for the audience: “People are created to do good.” Impressively brought to the shore by a truly admirable man with great passion.
“We need each other, and anger and hatred and resentment are corrosive. And our world is waiting for such as you- reminding each one of us we are made for goodness, for gentleness, for compassion, for caring. That is when we are at our best,” he said.
Archbishop Tutu was a 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner for his role in unifying South Africa after the fall of Apartheid. He was the head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission established to help the country transition to democracy.
Archbishop Tutu also discussed the African concept of ubuntu, which expresses the idea of human connectedness. “I am because you are. A person is a person through other persons,” he said. “No human being comes fully formed into the world. I would not know how to be a human being…except through other human beings. We are meant to live in a network of interdependence. We need each other” he added with such joy, such charm and humor.
Tutu retired as the Anglican Archbishop of Capetown in 1996, and was made emeritus Archbishop, a rare honorary title. Today he focuses his efforts on humanitarian causes such as HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
excerpts from the Daily Bulletin -The American Psychiatric Association meeting 2011 Hawaii