In the February 26, 2023 edition of the Orange County Register there was a Letter to the Editor that caught my eye that included the following statement:

“I once had a political science professor who never told us his opinion and encouraged robust dialogue in class. A student asked him one time why he bounces all over the issues and never provides the class with his opinion. The professor replied that his job was not to convince us to believe and think like him, but rather to develop the logic and reasoning skills to fully understand an issue before forming an opinion or taking action. A valuable life lesson sadly missing in most of our major learning institutions.“

I think the author is correct. In fact, is that not the basis of education? Certainly all students should be exposed to “the Three Rs,” history, the Periodic Table of the Elements and the rest. But don’t you agree that no one can be truly educated unless they understand how to listen, consider and reason before forming an opinion or taking action? In fact, today’s politics is leading us in the opposite direction. And that is not only causing consternation, it is causing harm.

So where does that take us? What can we do about this situation? Well, we each can do our part. Are you a parent, grandparent or scout leader? Regardless of our station in life, we can all help to mentor our young, and often not-so-young, people. For example, one of the triumphs in my parenting came long ago when my children were 7, 7 and 4 years old when I was driving them by a strawberry field in Irvine that had plastic sheeting all around the strawberry plants. (I later learned that these not only helped keep moisture in the ground, but also kept the berries from rotting if they happened to touch the ground.) But I simply said: “Look kids, this is where they raise plastic!” “Oh really Daddy, oh really?” was their reply. I said nothing more. But maybe five miles down the road one of my sons said: “Oh, come on Dad!” I was proud of him, and proud of me for helping them to engage in critical thinking about everything that they heard no matter the source – even from their Dad who, when children are at that age, simply knows everything. (Of course, that belief changed in a few years to one that believed that Dad didn’t know anything.) But teaching critical thinking at all levels of society is the responsibility of us all! Let’s all focus upon and carry out that responsibility!

Quote for the week from my great and, to me, heroic father Judge William P. Gray: “You have every right to disagree, but no right to be disagreeable.”

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

Please listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely ssues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches. The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand at https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/3883. And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at www.JudgeJImGray.com, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray.wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty. In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at Amazon.com., as is my wife Grace’s and my new novel centered about School Choice entitled 2030 KIDS: We are the Rising Heroes of the Planet. Please read and discuss them with your friends, and send in a review.