The response to last week’s 2 Paragraphs edition about the parenting and mentoring of children was gratifying, but I received only a few additional suggestions to pass along to you.  Nevertheless, it’s not too late.  So if you have additional thoughts about what works and what doesn’t, please don’t be bashful.  But one more thought occurred to me after the column was distributed, and it came from the DEA agent on the first narcotics case I tried as a federal prosecutor.  The agent told me that the prime defendant had been his friend when they were in high school together.  But the huge difference between the paths they chose was caused by their mentors: the agent had been mentored by his basketball coach, and his friend had been mentored by a drug dealer.  “There but for the Grace of God” the situations could and likely would have been reversed.

       And to follow up on last week’s concept, what many parents are doing too often today is childproofing the development of their own children.  What does that mean?  Because of fears that our children will be hurt or harmed, we don’t allow them to walk to school by themselves, play unescorted in parks where they can make up games to play with their friends, go to a market or travel on public transportation unchaperoned, climb trees or generally learn how to take care of themselves until dark when it’s “time to come home for dinner” – which was the rule when I was growing up.  Furthermore, during my childhood there were no terms like “Helicopter Parents,” and my friends and I were not protected by a “safe space” or from “trigger words” so that we could be kept from being confronted or otherwise forced to think on the spot for ourselves.  Yes, we certainly want our children to be safe, but many too many ways we have overdone it!  Not only do these “protections” breed a lack of ingenuity, creativity and independence, they also develop in many children a fear of life itself unless there is plenty of structure and supervision.  So what good is Liberty if people are too fearful even after they have “grown up” to give it a try?  Yes, Liberty can be scary in lots of ways, but it still is the best and most productive and gratifying way to live our lives!!

Quote for the week:  “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”  Abraham Lincoln

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President