Desmond Tutu is said to have once commented, ‘Whoever thinks they are too small to make a difference has never been in bed with a mosquito’
Only Tutu could have fully appreciated what his remarks meant; a powerless cleric facing an overwhelming and violently repressive regime, he could have been swept away with one swipe of the hand, but he persisted.
His words are an encouragement to people who plug away at local level trying to make the world a better place, those who campaign for the cancellation of odious debt; those who march against unwinnable wars; those who raise little amounts of money in attempts to assist people facing massive problems.
His words will cheer me up next time I go to the meeting of our local peace and justice group, in which a little group of faithful Christians try to follow Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount and try in our own puny ways to shape the world into the place he would want.
Having the courage to change the world does not mean needing confidence to imagine being a figure on the world stage, it means having confidence to be a mosquito, to know that the odds are overwhelming and that the opposition is immensely powerful, but to keep buzzing and to keep biting.