Don't Raise Your Voice, Improve Your Argument

Desmond Tutu
Don't Raise Your Voice, Improve Your Argument
Desmond Tutu “Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.”
Desmond Tutu: “Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.”
Image credit: Benny Gool, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Desmond Tutu (1931 - 2021) was a South African Anglican bishop and theologian, known as a powerful force for nonviolence in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement. Tutu was born in Klerksdorp, South Africa, and trained as a teacher before becoming ordained as an Anglican priest and studying theology. He was the first black African to serve as the Bishop of Johannesburg (1985-1986) and then Archbishop of Cape Town (1986-1996).

During his time as the general secretary of the South African Council of Churches (1978-1985), he emerged as one of the most prominent opponents of South Africa's apartheid system of racial segregation and white minority rule. He stressed nonviolence and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in 1984.

Alongside anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela, he led negotiations to end apartheid and introduce multi-racial democracy. He continued to campaign for human rights after the fall of apartheid until his retirement from public life in 2010. 

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I think this is so important. Social media, like Twitter, encourages people to pile on, and in, adding vitriol to outrage to scorn. Yet no one is persuaded to change their views, and certainly not their behaviour, by being told how dreadful they are. Insults and ridicule are more likely to cause someone to dig in than change. If we want our point of view to prevail, we need to argue more persuasively, not shout more loudly.

Go to the profile of Kayla Kim
6 months ago

Thanks Susanna, and agreed!