Sérgio Vieira de Mello: 10 Years

Ten years ago today, the world lost Sérgio Vieira de Mello; a unique and wonderful human being who dedicated all of his adult life for the well-being of others.

Five years ago, I wrote about Sergio:

[Sérgio] was a man who lived his life to honour the principles for which the United Nations was created: To help ease the suffering of people and mediate conflicts around the world. Sérgio Vieira de Mello was a pivotal figure within the United Nations that legitimised the organisation’s existence. A charismatic figure and remarkable diplomat, he worked to resolve conflicts in several regions including Lebanon, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Kosovo and Timor-Leste. — Pedro Innecco (2008)

When I was a teenager and had my room fully decorated with posters of bands and girls, I used to have a cork board right next to my bed where I used to pin stuff that I felt more closely attached to, such as picture of friends and girlfriends. Right there, next to a picture of the band Rush, I had a small picture of Sergio with the UN flag on the background that I cut out of a VEJA weekly magazine (not the one below – that one is long gone unfortunately).

When we are young we are full of certainties, particularly about ourselves. But I feel that one way or another we are always aware of our shortcomings. With that in mind, every time I was angry or frustrated with something or someone, I would ask myself how would Sérgio react in this case? Now to be brutally honest, that didn’t work as often as I wanted (read: needed) to. After all, boys will be boys. But aspiring to be like him certainly contributed to my personal growth; and as a father I feel obliged to tell my son all about the wonderful deeds and accomplishments of his dad’s role model.

Sérgio was everything I want to be when I grow up: A sound and a got-it-together guy, righteous and honourable, passionate and dedicated to good causes, highly regarded by his peers for his personal and professional qualities. And I would be proud of myself as a father if my son grows up to be one tenth of the man Sérgio was.

Dear Sérgio, may your soul rest in peace. I will always look up to you.

To know more:
Sérgio [HBO] – Documentary (IMDB)
Centro Sérgio Vieira de Mello (homepage, YouTube Channel)

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