November 9, 2005: Headlines: Speaking Out: Peacemakers: Happiness: Nobel Prize: COS - South Africa: Charlotte Observe: Desmond Tutu says true happiness comes from volunteering. joining the Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Speaking Out: January 23, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: Speaking Out (1 of 5) : Archive of Stories: November 9, 2005: Headlines: Speaking Out: Peacemakers: Happiness: Nobel Prize: COS - South Africa: Charlotte Observe: Desmond Tutu says true happiness comes from volunteering. joining the Peace Corps

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Desmond Tutu says true happiness comes from volunteering. joining the Peace Corps

Desmond Tutu says true happiness comes from volunteering. joining the Peace Corps

"I don't give up on human beings," Tutu told the Observer in an exclusive interview. "Despite all appearances, human beings in fact are fundamentally good. ... We are created, in fact, ultimately for goodness."

Desmond Tutu says true happiness comes from volunteering. joining the Peace Corps

Tutu campaigns for peace, justice

Religious, political leader says all are called to do good


Religion Editor

Calling himself a prisoner of hope, Desmond Tutu challenged Carolinians and people everywhere Tuesday to serve as God's partners on this troubled earth.

"I don't give up on human beings," Tutu told the Observer in an exclusive interview. "Despite all appearances, human beings in fact are fundamentally good. ... We are created, in fact, ultimately for goodness."

The 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner for his crusade to end apartheid in his native South Africa spoke in Charlotte at an invitation-only, fundraising gathering of those who have donated $10,000 or more to United Way of Central Carolinas.

In his talk to 500 at ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center uptown, Tutu said God wants a world filled with laughter and gentleness. And he's looking for mankind to help him bring it about.

"God," he said, "is waiting for all of us."

The Alexis de Tocqueville Society that met Tuesday typically invites a big-name speaker to its annual gathering. Organizers would not disclose Tutu's speaking fee. It was covered by private businesses that sponsored on the event -- not United Way funds.

In a 30-minute Observer interview Tuesday morning in his suite at the Westin Charlotte, the retired Anglican Archbishop expressed the faith and optimism that has made him one of the world's most beloved ambassadors of peace and justice.

Tutu, 74, led a prayer before the interview began. He said this was his first visit to Charlotte after noting that he thought he'd been here before when it was really Charleston. He laughed easily. And whether the subject was fighting racism or responding to the world's recent natural disasters, he said he counts on mankind to do the right thing.

True happiness, Tutu said, doesn't come from success, money, sex or "you name it," he said, because all of it "will end up like ashes in your mouth."

True happiness, he said, comes from volunteering. Joining the Peace Corps ("Working their butts off for nothing"). Finding something transcendent to do in life. Never letting wealth burn a hole in your pocket.

"When you are wealthy," he said, "that is not what is going to give you satisfaction. You get joy remembering your wealth is a gift that comes from God. It multiplies by being subtracted.

"God," Tutu said, "has very bad mathematics."

Tutu, who led South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate human rights violations after apartheid, covered a wide range of topics:

• Justice and peace are the causes he embraces, just as they were when he helped bring down apartheid in his homeland. Tutu, who lives in Capetown, South Africa, cited military-ruled Myanmar (Burma) as one focus of his activism.

• He opposed the war in Iraq from the start.

• He supported Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, the gay church leader whose 2003 consecration threatens to split the Episcopal Church and worldwide Anglican Communion.

• He praised the outpouring of aid to victims of Katrina and the South Asia earthquake. Americans' outrage at its government's poor response after the hurricane, he said, is one more sign that people are basically good.

"If evil was the norm, all we would say in the face of evil is `Tough luck,' " Tutu said. "In fact, evil is an aberration. In fact, the norm is good.

By the time the interview neared its end, Tutu was sounding like the preacher he is.

Passionate and hopeful.

"Each one of us has a god-shaped space," Tutu said. "Only God can fill that space."

United Way leaders plan to hold a media briefing and meeting Thursday to address a shortfall in this year's campaign. With the drive due to end Nov. 17, the campaign stands at $34,119,129 -- 83.8 percent of the goal of $40.7 million. Last year's campaign totaled $39,121.054.

Reach Ken Garfield at (704) 358-5094 or

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Story Source: Charlotte Observe

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Speaking Out; Peacemakers; Happiness; Nobel Prize; COS - South Africa


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