Dag Hammarskjöld on Growing up

“Is life so wretched? Isn’t it rather your hands which are too small, your vision which is muddied? You are the one who must grow up.”

– Dag Hammarskjöld

Quote seen at The Happiness Project

Speaking of Happiness Projects, I’m listening to an album of the same name by Charles Spearin of Broken Social Scene and Do Make Say Think. He invited his neighbours into his house to record their thoughts on happiness, then turned their words into music. Lovely.

1 thought on “Dag Hammarskjöld on Growing up

  1. David

    My imperfect vision is corrected by unmuddied glasses and my hands are large and I am fully grown at several inches over six feet after having lived on this deus-forsaken mass of ice and mud and metal and rock for twenty-seven of its many hundreds of millions of relentlessly repeating recirculations ’round its life-giving fire-breathing light-spreading parent star, yet still life is wretched. After much serious and weighty and brain-breaking consideration I conclude that the relative wretchedness or non-wretchedness of life is not dependent upon the size of one’s hands or the decency of one’s visual acuity or the level of grownupedness that one has so far achieved during one’s miserable or happy or pointless or purposeful or wretched or fulfilling or cantankerous or agreeable or monotonous or polyphonic existence.

    I believe that the whole darned thing is more to do with obscure elements as yet unknown at this time. Small people with small hands and perfect uncorrectable vision may be the ones who must be consulted on the matter under consideration before any objective conclusions can be reached regarding the general subject in hand. I think of small-handed small people and wonder upon them in a manner reminiscent of an 18th-century libertine smilefully preparing for a wine and cheese party at the residence of a society dame noted for her taste in the joyful and uplifting things in life. For a while I am lifted out of my wretched state of psychological paralysis: some optimism appears somehow from somewhere, and life seems not so bad after all.

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