What astounds us is that, despite everything he saw and endured during the apartheid years, Tutu remains one of the most joyful human beings we know. A laugh is never far from his lips. When music plays, he is the first on his feet dancing. We can only attribute this to his mastery of the art of forgiveness. Tutu's soul remains unburdened by anger and vindictiveness.
If there were such a thing as a rock star politician, the man known affectionately around the globe as "Madiba" is one. Today's youngest generation did not witness his historic struggle, release or election. Yet they know his extraordinary messages of equality, hope and forgiveness. And they are ready to receive his torch.
The Archbishop is a South African social rights activist. He rose to worldwide prominence in the 1980s as a staunch opponent of his country's policy of apartheid. He was also the first black South African Archbishop of Cape Town. His irrepressible spirit is particularly awe-inspiring when you consider the South Africa from which he emerged.
Robb Nash was hit by a truck the winter he was 17. The collision stripped the roof off of the car he was in and knocked him onto the highway, where he cracked his skull. He remained unconscious until the following spring. Now, 16 years later, he offers this advice: "Don't wait to get hit by a semi" to start living with purpose.
In the course of my work at Plan I see so many young people with great potential of their own who have so few opportunities to explore or express it. Still, they bravely persist in striving to make their mark on the world, even in contexts of deprivation and conflict. Programs like Girls Making Media and International Youth Day, youth are changing the world.