God Has a Dream by Archbishop Desmond Tutu isn’t the kind of book I’d normally pick up. I initially bought it after hearing a lecture by Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky, who wrote a great book on secondary trauma. She quoted the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hahn, and Desmond Tutu extensively and afterwards, in addition to her book, I bought a few by Thich Nhat Hahn and Desmond Tutu. It’s taken me awhile to read this one, although it’s a pretty short book.
I found it really comforting. As I’ve written about before, my relationship with God is often shaky and my relationship with the Christian church is basically severed. But … I don’t think you have to even have to believe in God (which I do) to appreciate this book, although Archbishop Tutu is religious, is Christian, and, obviously, is talking about God. However, the central message of the book is that God wants us to be good to each other – through our work, our choices, our lives. Reading the book was reaffirming in lots of ways – particularly about my work. I also appreciated the simplicity of the book – I think part of my problem with God/spirituality is that I over think it. Reading the book, I am reminded that I always feel closer to God when I’m not thinking so much – when I’m trying not to figure out the answer to everything.
All in all, I really liked the book. I think my favorite line was when Archbishop Tutu points out that people do good so much more frequently than people do evil and also that people in general just want to be good to each other. Archbishop Tutu isn’t trying to deny that evil exists (obviously – he’s stared it in the face), but reminds us that good can only exist because of evil and that good usually will out (which, if you think back over history, is true … sometimes it just takes a long while).
Anyway, I’d recommend the book regardless of your religious or spiritual persuasion. It made me feel better about the world. Really.