HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Archbishop Desmond Tutu is in Hawaii to promote peace through two public events at the Hawaii Convention Center August 29th through the 31st.
"You know God wanted us to live in a garden and we've messed up quite a bit" says Archbishop Tutu with a laugh.
Tutu mixes humor with humility. It's a strategy that helped the anti-apartheid leader diffuse tension in South Africa during the 1980's.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner is wise beyond his 82 years. As he told us in a one on one interview, "We oldies get to be very cynical and I say to young people don't. Go on dreaming your dreams. Dream your dream of a world that is more caring."
Tutu is a featured speaker for the Elders, an esteemed group created by Nelson Mandela, Richard Branson and others. "It's people who are not speaking theory" explains Tutu. "They've been there, they've done that."
Mandela asked Tutu to be an Elder. In his words, who can say no to Nelson, which he punctuated with a joke about Mandela's arrival in heaven. He broke into laughter as he said, "When he arrived at the Gates of Heaven, Saint Peter got out his cell phone and did a selfie."
Between laughs, the down to earth leader shares invaluable lessons. "We've seen people shoot down a civilian airline, look at the ghastliness happening in South Sudan."
He went on to say, "We're all God's children but we behave as if we aren't family."
He's hopeful that we can transport the aloha spirit to create a more compassionate community worldwide.
The Elder says we "hope we can do our little part to spread the aloha spirit."
To find out more about the events and tickets, go to this link.
The Elders will be on Oahu from August 29 - 31, participating in a range of tours and conversations with various groups. During their visit to Hawaii, The Elders will speak to student leaders, to civic and business leaders, and to the general public. They also will have the chance to learn about Hawaii's history and multicultural approach to living with peace and aloha.
About the Organization:
The Elders is an independent group of global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007. They use their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering, and promote the shared interests of humanity.
Because The Elders no longer hold public office, they can act boldly as an independent voice to access decision makers, listen to all parties, and speak out against injustices. As a group, their strategic focus is on ethical leadership in a rapidly changing world. Individually, each of The Elders has built a reputation as a change maker, creating positive change and inspiring others to make the world a better place.
About the Individuals:
Three distinguished members of The Elders are taking part in the Hawaii events:
•Gro Harlem Brundtland was the the first woman Prime Minister of Norway and serves as Deputy Chair of The Elders. She is a medical doctor who put sustainable development on the international agenda and champions health as a human right.
•Hina Jilani is a renowned lawyer and pro-democracy campaigner. A leading activist in Pakistan's women's movement, Hina has dedicated her life to fighting for human rights and democracy around the world.
•Desmond Tutu was Chair of The Elders 2007-2013 and one of its founding members. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his work in the struggle against apartheid. The Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town is known worldwide as an advocate for peace and justice.