Re: What do you believe?

Question: Do you have a personal philosophy?

Transcript:To an extent, yes. When I was working as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, I had to go to some of the most difficult places of conflict – to ________ and Chechnya; to East Timor after the terrible killings there; and Sierra Leone where children and pregnant women have arms and legs chopped off . . . an elderly man with no hands trying to shave. I have these images just about an inch below the surface of my mind. I can recall them at any time. They’re there. I can never get rid of them. And in a way, they’re also part of why I can speak about issues with a certain empathy of understanding, because I have seen. When I would come back from some of the worst visits, some of my colleagues would say, “Why are you sounding not exactly optimistic, but you’re saying, ‘Let’s do this. Let’s do that.’” And I think it’s a psychological characteristic that I’m happy I have. I’d like to see maybe that the glass isn’t half full; but if it’s a tiny bit full, what can you do to make it more full? And I do believe – and it’s part of my philosophy – that everyone can make a difference. That’s what happens. Small groups come together. A group of lawyers that gave us the Universal Declaration. Mahatma Gandhi, ________ himself, figures who have stood out. Writers, poets and thinkers have changed our world because they have reminded us of our humanity; reminded us of our dignity and worth. And so that’s, I think, very much what motivates me. I’m very lucky. I wake up every morning full of enthusiasm for what I can do during the day. And I have met some absolutely fantastic people, very often at grassroots – very poor people making a huge difference in their lives. I saw them recently in Nairobi with AIDS orphans and with women who are possible trying to get over so many discriminatory barriers – strong, resourceful women, but without resources. So getting them the resources is part of . . . and helping them to do much more. They’re already on the road. Recorded on: 7/25/07

What can you do to make the glass more full?

‘Designer baby’ book trilogy explores the moral dilemmas humans may soon create

How would the ability to genetically customize children change society? Sci-fi author Eugene Clark explores the future on our horizon in Volume I of the "Genetic Pressure" series.

Surprising Science
  • A new sci-fi book series called "Genetic Pressure" explores the scientific and moral implications of a world with a burgeoning designer baby industry.
  • It's currently illegal to implant genetically edited human embryos in most nations, but designer babies may someday become widespread.
  • While gene-editing technology could help humans eliminate genetic diseases, some in the scientific community fear it may also usher in a new era of eugenics.
Keep reading Show less

Discovery of two giant radio galaxies hints at more to come

The newly discovered galaxies are 62x bigger than the Milky Way.

I. Heywood, University of Oxford / Rhodes University / South African Radio Astronomy Observatory / CC BY 4.0.
Surprising Science
  • Two recently discovered radio galaxies are among the largest objects in the cosmos.
  • The discovery implies that radio galaxies are more common than previously thought.
  • The discovery was made while creating a radio map of the sky with a small part of a new radio array.
Keep reading Show less

The secret life of maladaptive daydreaming

Daydreaming can be a pleasant pastime, but people who suffer from maladaptive daydreamers are trapped by their fantasies.

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Mind & Brain
  • Maladaptive daydreamers can experience intricate, vivid daydreams for hours a day.
  • This addiction can result in disassociation from vital life tasks and relationships.
  • Psychologists, online communities, and social pipelines are spreading awareness and hope for many.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Massive 'Darth Vader' isopod found lurking in the Indian Ocean

    The father of all giant sea bugs was recently discovered off the coast of Java.

    SJADE 2018
    Surprising Science
    • A new species of isopod with a resemblance to a certain Sith lord was just discovered.
    • It is the first known giant isopod from the Indian Ocean.
    • The finding extends the list of giant isopods even further.
    Keep reading Show less

    Why it's important to admit when you're wrong

    Psychologists point to specific reasons that make it hard for us to admit our wrongdoing.

    Credit: Adobe Stock
    Mind & Brain
    • Admitting mistakes can be very difficult for our ego and self-image, say psychologists.
    • Refusing to own up to guilt boosts the ego and can feel more satisfying.
    • Not acknowledging you are wrong can lead to psychological issues and ruined relationships.
    Keep reading Show less
    Quantcast