Dag Hammarskjold Quotes

Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld, 1905 – 1961

Born: 29 July 1905, Jönköping, Sweden
Died: 18 September 1961, Ndola, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

Raised at Uppsala in a family that had worked for the Swedish crown since the 17th century, his father was Prime Minister 1914-1917. Earned a Bachelor of Law and a Master’s in political economy at Uppsala University. He served on a national committee on economics while he earned his doctorate in economics at Stockholm University. Worked at the Bank of Sweden, then was undersecretary of finance before returning to the bank as it’s chairman. While at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs he was Sweden’s delegate to the conferences that established the Marshall Plan and the Organization for European Economic Co-operation. Despite never joining a political party he was minister without portfolio in the cabinet, effectively Deputy Foreign Minister, and part of the Swedish delegation to the United Nations. When the first UN Secretary General resigned in 1953 he was surprised by the Security Council’s nomination and strong support for his taking that position, which he won, followed by unanimous reelection in 1957. He may have been the most active all the secretaries general. During his third trip to the Congo to negotiate peace in Katanga Province his plane went down. He was the only secretary general to die in office, and his 1961 Nobel Peace Prize is the only time a Nobel has been awarded posthumously.

Dag Hammarskjold quotes:

A task becomes a duty from the moment you suspect it to be an essential part of that integrity which alone entitles one to assume responsibility.
    Dag Hammarskjold

Bless your uneasiness as a sign that there is still life within you.
    Dag Hammarskjold

Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.
    Dag Hammarskjold

Destiny is something not be to desired and not to be avoided. A mystery not contrary to reason, for it implies that the world, and the course of human history, have meaning.
    Dag Hammarskjold

Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment.
    Dag Hammarskjold

Everything will be all right – you know when? When people, just people, stop thinking of the United Nations as a weird Picasso abstraction and see it as a drawing they made themselves.
    Dag Hammarskjold

Forgiveness is the answer to the child’s dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is again made clean.
    Dag Hammarskjold

Freedom from fear could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights.
    Dag Hammarskjold

Friendship needs no words. It is solitude delivered from the anguish of loneliness.
    Dag Hammarskjold

God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.
    Dag Hammarskjold

Humility is just as much the opposite of self-abasement as it is of self-exaltation.
    Dag Hammarskjold

I am the vessel. The draft is God’s. And God is the thirsty one.
    Dag Hammarskjold

I believe that we should die with decency so that at least decency will survive.
    Dag Hammarskjold

I never discuss discussions.
    Dag Hammarskjold

If even dying is to be made a social function, then, grant me the favor of sneaking out on tiptoe without disturbing the party.
    Dag Hammarskjold

If you seek yourself,…you rob the lens of its transparency…. You will know life and be acknowledged by it according to your degree of transparency, your capacity, that is, to vanish as an end, and remain purely as a means.

Dag Hammarskjold
If you’re driving down the highway in the middle of the night and you see a sign that says Bridge Out, pray for some intellectual understanding of that message, or you’re going to have an experience you’ll never forget!

Dag Hammarskjold
In our era, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action.

Dag Hammarskjold

Markings (1963)
In the last analysis, it is our conception of death which decides our answers to all the questions that life puts to us.

Dag Hammarskjold
Is life so wretched? Isn’t it rather your hands which are too small, your vision which is muddled? You are the one who must grow up.

Dag Hammarskjold
It is easy to be nice, even to an enemy – from lack of character.

Dag Hammarskjold
It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses.

Dag Hammarskjold
It is not the Soviet Union or indeed any other big Powers who need the United Nations for their protection. It is all the others.

Dag Hammarskjold
It is when we all play safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity.

Dag Hammarskjold
It was when Lucifer first congratulated himself upon his angelic behavior that he became the tool of evil.

Dag Hammarskjold
Life only demands from you the strength you possess. Only one feat is possible – not to have run away.

Dag Hammarskjold
Life yields only to the conqueror. Never accept what can be gained by giving in. You will be living off stolen goods, and your muscles will atrophy.

Dag Hammarskjold

Markings (1963)
Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road.

Dag Hammarskjold

Markings (1963)
Never measure the height of a mountain until you reach the top. Then you will see how low it was.

Dag Hammarskjold
Never, for the sake of peace and quiet, deny your own experience or convictions.

Dag Hammarskjold

Markings (1963)

Only he deserves power who every day justifies it.

Dag Hammarskjold
Our work for peace must begin within the private world of each one of us. To build for man a world without fear, we must be without fear. To build a world of justice, we must be just.

Dag Hammarskjold
Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.

Dag Hammarskjold
Setbacks in trying to realize the ideal do not prove that the ideal is at fault.

Dag Hammarskjold
The Assembly has witnessed over the last weeks how historical truth is established; once an allegation has been repeated a few times, it is no longer an allegation, it is an established fact, even if no evidence has been brought out in order to support it.

Dag Hammarskjold
The longest journey of any person is the journey inward.

Dag Hammarskjold
The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you will hear what is sounding outside.

Dag Hammarskjold
The more we do, the more we can do; the more busy we are, the more leisure we have.

Dag Hammarskjold
The myths have always condemned those who “looked back.” Condemned them, whatever the paradise may have been which they were leaving. Hence this shadow over each departure from your decision.

Dag Hammarskjold
The only kind of dignity which is genuine is that which is not diminished by the indifference of others.

Dag Hammarskjold
The pursuit of peace and progress cannot end in a few years in either victory or defeat. The pursuit of peace and progress, with its trials and its errors, its successes and its setbacks, can never be relaxed and never abandoned.

Dag Hammarskjold
The U.N was not created to take mankind to heaven, but to save humanity from hell.

Dag Hammarskjold
There is a point at which everything becomes simple and there is no longer any question of choice, because all you have staked will be lost if you look back. Life’s point of no return.

Dag Hammarskjold
Time always seems long to the child who is waiting – for Christmas, for next summer, for becoming a grownup: long also when he surrenders his whole soul to each moment of a happy day.

Dag Hammarskjold
Time goes by, reputation increases, ability declines.

Dag Hammarskjold

We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours.

Dag Hammarskjold
What makes loneliness an anguish is not that I have no one to share my burden, but this: I have only my own burden to bear.

Dag Hammarskjold
You are … the lens in the beam. You can only receive, give, and possess the light as the lens does.

Dag Hammarskjold
Your cravings as a human animal do not become a prayer just because it is God whom you ask to attend to them.

Dag Hammarskjold
Your position never gives you the right to command. It only imposes on you the duty of so living your life that others can receive your orders without being humiliated.

Dag Hammarskjold

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