What is your counsel?
Stephen Gerald Breyer is an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Appointed in 1994, Breyer is often regarded as more liberal than most other members of the court. He is highly regarded across the political spectrum for his pragmatic, rather than ideological, approach to the Constitution. In Bush v. Gore, which settled the controversial 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore, he issued a widely respected dissent which criticized those who would decide the case on the basis of equal protection. Breyer, a Rhodes Scholar, was educated at Stanford, Oxford and Harvard. He is the author of Breaking the Vicious Circle: Toward Effective Risk Regulation. Ideas recorded at the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival on: 7/5/07
It’s not very original advice. The things that I think work are first that people become interested. I mean, you know, high school students, college students, young professionals. And the young professionals are the hardest because they’re so busy. They have to do their job every day, and maybe they’re starting a family. But to be interested in problems that aren’t just related to your work, and become adjusted as a member of the community and something a little bit broader. And I think that’s certainly one good thing, and an important thing. And I usually say the Constitution foresees that, and it does. The second thing is, I think, natural to an American attitude. It’s that when you get into a problem, you have an open mind. And you sort of fight ________ a conclusion. And you open to whatever’s going to work. Now be careful of that, but it’s a good attitude. It’s a very good attitude. And the third thing, I think, is you take other people’s views into account. That’s why I think it’s important to know what’s going on in China. You don’t have to know everything. You can’t. But at least have a general idea and know where you can go to find out more. Or know what you’re going to learn about in India, or in France, or in Africa, or some other place. Know enough to see that we’re not alone in this world, and we’re not absolutely right all the time either. And we’d better take into account what other people think. I mean those are the . . . those are just fairly trite, but I think that’s ___________. Recorded on: 7/5/07
Be open-minded and know what's going on in China.
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