Thursday, March 11, 2010

An Extraordinary Day with Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Serving on the board of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation has been a labor of love, frustrating, exciting, rewarding, just plain hard work, expensive (multiple trips from my home in Colorado to New York City), educational ..... so many different adjectives and experiences.

The vision for me is to simultaneously work to foster an environment of peace; to extend the legacy of peace building (ubuntu) modeled by the Archbishop; and to honor the memory of my friend, the late John Denver--who signed a million (?) autographs with just one word: PEACE!

On Tuesday I once again went through "the drill" of a trip to New York. This time was different from the moment I chose to attend because Archbishop Tutu and Mrs. Tutu would be present for our meeting. Packing was different. Choosing small gifts was different--I brought them copies of our books One World, One People and One World One Child. Traveling was different. My anticipation grew and grew with an almost childlike excitement.

Being with the Archbishop was a highlight in my life. He embodies peace and love just "being." From his opening prayer and acknowledgement of our work through some challenging "business" discussions about the future of the Foundation and through to a heartfelt closing of the meeting, I felt so honored to be in his presence and to be working with him in the cause of peace.

I've met three US Presidents, two Kings and an Emperor. While living in Aspen, I met countless actors, entertainers and captains of industry. Yet I've only been with a few people in my life who touched me at the heart level and enveloped me in their loving spirit. Desmond Tutu is one of them and I am so very grateful to those who have supported me in my journey to this cherished moment and memory.

I helped the Archbishop and Mrs. Tutu into their car on busy East 64th St., removed his gift to me from my briefcase (an inscribed and signed Holy Bible), held it to my heart and wept tears of joy while people streamed around me. It was a very special experience and I wanted to share it with you.

Robert

4 comments:

Narah said...

YOU are AWESOME and couldn't be more deserving of that wonderful experience and moment and much more! Bests to you always!!

jim said...

An Extraordinary life indeed. Your experience touches me also. How can that be? God Bless.

Robert White said...

Jim,

Despite my ego's desire to always understand, I've surrendered to simply being in the mystery of how we are connected at so many levels.

It can sound like new age nonsense to say "I am you and you are me." And, that points to why we resonate with each other's stories and experiences.

Thanks for sharing.

Robert

kate zoe said...

Great site and a great topic as well i really get amazed to read this thanks.
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