„They are our tools. We fashioned them. We use them. It is our responsibility to remedy any flaws there may be in them.“

—  Dag Hammarskjöld, Context: Do we refer to the purposes of the Charter? They are expressions of universally shared ideals which cannot fail us, though we, alas, often fail them. Or do we think of the institutions of the United Nations? They are our tools. We fashioned them. We use them. It is our responsibility to remedy any flaws there may be in them.... This is a difficult lesson for both idealists and realists, though for different reasons. I suppose that, just as the first temptation of the realist is the illusion of cynicism, so the first temptation of the idealist is the illusion of Utopia. "An International Administrative Service", From an Address to the International Law Association at McGill University, Montreal, 30 May, 1956. Wilder Foote (Ed.), The Servant of Peace, A Selection of the Speeches and Statements of Dag Hammarskjöld, The Bodley Head, London 1962, p. 116.
Dag Hammarskjöld photo
Dag Hammarskjöld4
1905 - 1961

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„A marciful Providunce fashioned us holler
O' purpose thet we might our principles swaller.“

—  James Russell Lowell American poet, critic, editor, and diplomat 1819 - 1891
The Biglow Papers (1848–1866), Series I (1848), No. 4, st. 2.

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„We may not stop until we have done our part to fashion a world in which there shall be some share of fellowship; which shall be better than a den of thieves.“

—  Learned Hand American legal scholar, Court of Appeals judge 1872 - 1961
Extra-judicial writings, Context: We may not stop until we have done our part to fashion a world in which there shall be some share of fellowship; which shall be better than a den of thieves. Let us not disguise the difficulties; and, above all, let us not content ourselves with nobel aspirations, counsels of perfection, and self-righteous advice to others. We shall need the wisdom of the serpent; we shall have to be content with short steps; we shall be obliged to give and take; we shall face the strongest passions of mankind — our own not the least; and in the end we shall have fabricated an imperfect instrument. But we shall not wholly have failed; we shall have gone forward, if we bring to our task a pure and chastened spirit, patience, understanding, sympathy, forbearance, generosity, fortitude, and, above all, an inflexible determination. The history of man has just begun; in the aeons which lie before him lie limitless hope or limitless despair. The choice is his; the present choice is ours. It is worth the trial. "A Pledge of Allegiance" - speech for "I Am an Amercan Day" Central Park, New York, New York. (20 May 1945) Hand credited H. G. Wells with inspiring some of the ideas expressed in this speech.

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