Dag Hammarskjöld, Peacemaker and Public Servant

838px-dag_hammarskjold_outside_the_un_buildingDear Friends,

Greetings on this sunny Sunday morning, a day I feel is intended for
rest, relaxation, rejuvenation and inner contemplation. Get outside
early today (if it is safe where you are) and reflect on the good things
going on in your life right now. Try to discipline yourself to focus your
attention on stories of healing and restoring hearts that are broken by
the world chaos that is increasingly difficult to ignore.

One Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza is a tall skyscraper located in New York
which was completed in 1972. It is mainly used for offices and many
countries have their permanent missions to the United Nations in the
building. When I worked for a freight forwarder in 1975 in New York,
I often had to send messengers to one of the offices there to drop off
and pick up documents that were required for payment against letters
of credit for one of our accounts.

I am embarrassed to admit that the name “Dag Hammarskjöld” meant
nothing to me until one of my bosses (who could not remember where a
particular country’s mission was located) tried to jog my memory by
reminding me that the location was named for the second secretary-
general of the United Nations who had died in a plane crash more than
a decade before! When he saw that I had no idea who he was talking
about, he asked someone else and later came back to enlighten me!

I have been forever grateful for the serendipity that led to my curiosity
to learn all I could about Dag Hammarskjöld. I forgave myself for my
ignorance because I had just turned 6 and lived in a very different
Costa Rica when the events that took Mr. Hammarskjöld’s life unfolded
in 1961. He was exactly the kind of person I look up to; a universally
known and admired peacemaker whose lifelong pursuit was being of
service and who died en route to cease-fire negotiations in a world
resembling our current one.

Dag Hammarskjold was awarded the 1961 Nobel Peace Prize post-
humously. He left many poems and spiritual meditations that were
published after his death and are available to us now. One of his
reflections says in part that “the longest journey is the journey
inwards”. I plan to spend some time in deep contemplation today in
order to meet the challenges of the complicated coming days.

Have a good day and a safe and enjoyable week, Marietta

Image of Dag Hammarskjöld from Wikipedia

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