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Dag Hammarskjöld’s "This I believe"

Christmas with UN peacekeepers

At year-end 1957, Dag Hammarskjöld made two concluding entries nearly side by side in his private journal. The first, written during a rare few days in his native Sweden, reflects with dry wit the absurdities of political life. The second was written just two days later though far from Sweden, in the Gaza Strip where he flew to spend Christmas with the UN peacekeeping force on duty there. Always sensitive to the natural setting, he must have discovered in the beauty of the desert a religious reminder. And so we meet this man again, unafraid of action, unafraid of contemplation.
The madman shouted in the market place. No one stopped to answer him. Thus it was confirmed that his thesis was incontrovertible.
(Markings, 161)

In Thy wind—in Thy light—
How insignificant is everything else, how small are we—
And how happy in that which alone is great.
(Markings, 161)