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Lions Roar : November 2013
DAG HAMMARSKJÖLD, SECRETARY-GENERAL of the United Nations from 1953 to 1961, had a keen sense of above and below. For example, in the fall of 1958 the Swedish diplomat wrote in his private journal: Lord, Thine the day, And I the day’s. Despite its few words, it is a provocative and memorable poem. In our troubled era, don’t we need political leaders who would understand this poem: its implicit promise of selfless service, its uneasiness and willingness, its scope? Don’t we need inspiring examples of men and women who have led public lives by the light of deep spirituality? PHOTOCOURTESYOFUNPHOTO/AF The late Dag Hammarskjöld, Secretary-General of the United Nations, was both a deeply spiritual person and a highly effective diplomat. His biographer ROGER LIPSEY tells us why we need more leaders like him. Hammarskjöld united two lives in one. He was both a spiri- tual seeker and the leading diplomat of his era. Somewhat for- gotten today but admired nearly worldwide in his time, Ham- marskjöld created important peacemaking methods such as shuttle diplomacy and UN peacekeeping forces. More than that, he endowed the United Nations with a heightened sense of its mission through his clarity of mind, breadth of vision, unshake- able integrity, and quiet eloquence. When Hammarskjöld died in central Africa in 1961 in a still- troubling plane crash, he was mourned by millions. Two years later his private journal, Markings, was published. It revealed that he had been a spiritual seeker throughout his life, never more intently and wisely than during the UN years. The book remains Stillness in Action Reflections on Dag Hammarskjöld SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2013 67