- Posted October 4, 2011 by
London, United Kingdom
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Happy birthday, Desmond Tutu
Sailing Around the World with Desmond Tutu
I had the privilege of sailing around the world with Archbishop Desmond Tutu on a program called Semester at Sea from August to December 2010 and celebrating his last birthday with him in South Africa. He is the friendliest person I have ever met, and we frequently ate breakfast together or sat and talked on the outside deck of our ship, the MV Explorer, musing about the world that we were passing by. Everyone on the ship fondly referred to him as “Arch.”
Arch has impacted my life in so many ways, but everyday I think of a speech he gave to the entire shipboard community on whether our small efforts to make an impact in the world were worth it. He told the story of a young boy who spent his day throwing starfish back into the water, even though there were so many washed up on the shore that it was impossible to throw them all back. When questioned about the usefulness of his actions, he responded, “It’s impossible to throw all these starfish back, but for this one starfish, it means a whole lot.” Arch concluded by telling us, “You are young and full of promises. Don’t let anyone look down on your dreams. Believe you are making a difference, because you are. Dream, Dream Dream. Dream the craziest of dreams!”
Desmond Tutu is a man of many facets, and I miss his joyous demeanor, his wise words, but most of all his infectious laugh every single day.
Happy Birthday, Arch!