It was truly a lesson in don't take something at face value. You know, so many of us do in life. Whether it's because of how somebody looks or because of what they're wearing or what have you, you kind of assess a person in the first five minutes before they even speak.
We are animals and we are made in this way and this is how we behave. I'm just kind of fascinated by how we can deny that we are animals and what our impact on the other animals is like, and how quixotic we can be in trying to assess what we've done in trying to correct it.
Crude men who feel themselves insulted tend to assess the degree of insult as high as possible, and talk about the offense in greatly exaggerated language, only so they can revel to their heart's content in the aroused feelings of hatred and revenge.
A play presents a self-enclosed little world for the audience to examine. It's an opportunity to look objectively at a group of people, to assess them, to react to them, and to measure oneself against them, to ask 'Am I like that?'
I opposed the Fatwa against Salman Rushdie. I read the book and took a critical distance. I did not think The Satanic Verses is a blasphemous book. I did not consider the book as being a great read, but as an intellectual I read, I assess, and I respond. I make a difference between true freedom of expression to which we owe a response and provocation, which we ignore.
We do not wish to "judge" or assess out surrounding merely as a kind of expressive activity carelessly projected onto the world, but we wish to evaluate the world "correctly," i.e., in according with that it truly is, and the desire to know is directed at determining what the world truly is.
The United States is strongly committed to the IPCC process of international cooperation on global climate change. We consider it vital that the community of nations be drawn together in an orderly, disciplined, rational way to review the history of our global environment, to assess the potential for future climate change, and to develop effective programs. The state of the science, the social and economic impacts, and the appropriate strategies all are crucial components to a global resolution. The stakes here are very high; the consequences, very significant.
Sometimes we need a personal crisis to reinforce in our minds what we really value and cherish. The scriptures are filled with examples of people facing crises before learning how to better serve God and others. Perhaps if you, too, search your hearts and courageously assess the priorities in your life, you may discover, as I did, that you need a better balance among your priorities.
As individuals, and as a society, we can choose to take responsibility for ourselves. In doing so we have to accept that sometimes when things go wrong, it is just an accident. In order to change how we lay blame, we’re going to have to change our over-protective habits; children can only learn to take responsibility when given a chance to assess and mitigate risk for themselves.
Ultimately, the courts will make the final judgment whether the White House has gone too far. Independent and impartial judges must assess the proper balance between protecting our liberties and protecting our national security.