Interpreting Hammarskjöld's Political Wisdom
We may regret and even deplore the frequent bitterness of debates, but we should never make the mistake of thinking that we would be better off if these debates did not take place.
We are groping—not in the dark—but we are groping for the best road, with a very open mind. It is too early to try to lay down what might come out of that effort.
If the elephant walks and walks in the right direction, we should not be impatient. It does not move too quickly, but we shall certainly arrive at a goal.
I do not believe that any ready-made solutions can be found or that we can avoid a painful period of trial and error in the elaboration of the necessary tools. It will undoubtedly be a slow process requiring much patience.
It won’t be lost on Hammarskjöld’s readers that his political wisdom often intersects with another kind of wisdom and inquiry. Hammarskjöld was both a global leader and, privately, a spiritual seeker.
On the field where Ormuzd has challenged Ahriman to battle, he who chases away the dogs is wasting his time.
An entry in Markings that begins in sharp self-criticism, passes in review a worn but useful strategy, and ends with stunning insights.
Dialogue was centrally important to Hammarskjöld as secretary-general. Not dialogue as a kind of theater or performance, but dialogue for the sake of peace and human development.
Dialogue is badly needed, but dialogue requires quite a few things: objectivity, a willingness to listen, and considerable restraint. Those are all human qualities. No one of them is very remarkable, but they are all called for.
In all sports where a group is acting, be it football or mountain climbing, success requires perfect teamwork. But teamwork does not reach perfection without independent individual initiative, disciplined by loyalty but free in expression. The same is true of our work.