What are your thoughts on the movement to establish Ministries and Departments of Peace in governments worldwide?

TUTU: It’s an extraordinary idea and, it fills one with a great deal of excitement and exhilaration, and it sounds crazy, but then I think it was crazy when Gandhi said we’re going to work so that eventually India is free. It must have been crazy when Martin Luther King Jr. also said we’re going to make civil rights a real issue in the United States, and maybe when Nelson Mandela and others said one day apartheid will be no more, that we need those like yourselves who dream dreams and say, “It is possible. It is possible for people to know that war is not natural.”

People have been able to live peacefully together, but if they live peacefully together after war, why should they have war first before they can realize that it is a great deal better. War is not nice to children, it’s not nice to people, it’s not nice to the environment.

And so I say go for it. This is marvellous. Go for it and really be crazy and say, one day we’ll ask, “Why were we so stupid for so long because of something so obvious?” Saying let us put our massive investment that we are putting right now in instruments of death and destruction, let us put them into something that is creative, that is life-enhancing teaching kids that there are ways of resolving differences that don’t need to be violent. You can sit down and ultimately say, “You know, actually, an enemy is a friend waiting to be made.”

Photo and interview by Mark Tompkins
For the Peace Alliance
At the Quest for Global Healing
May, 2006, Bali, Indonesia