With apologies to no one, last week I left you without an edition of our 2 Paragraphs because my great wife Grace and I were traveling throughout Great Britain – and we just got home this afternoon. But on our trip I had a chance to read an Epoch Times Special Edition entitled Life and Tradition: Education, Parenting, Leadership, which is as insightful a piece as I have ever read. It centers on a quote from Confucius, which was “To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.” And the piece then went on to argue that we can only really set our hearts right by emphasizing the soul and wisdom of education, parenting and leadership.

I anticipate that all People of Good Will actually agree with Confucius, but how can we best pursue his teachings? The piece went in to lots of areas and examples but, in summary, here is what was presented:

  • Education: Reinstate character and virtues at home and in schools through teaching art and music, through storytelling about examples from history and literature, and through reinstating the family as one of life’s great moral beacons.
  • Parenting: How can parents bring up their children to become men and women who value virtue and good character? It is hugely important to set boundaries and to provide guidance and discipline, and also to limit television and screen time on computers and cell phones. In other words, to mentor a sound mind in children, pay attention to what is going into it! Another successful approach is to teach children to value reason more than emotions, not because emotions are bad, but because emotions rarely lead to individual or societal happiness.
  • Leadership: Good leaders show that they love the people they lead. As Aristotle wrote: “The tyrant looks to his own advantage, the king to that of his subjects. Listen, observe and strive to articulate a vision for a better future for your subjects, and demonstrate plans to carry it out. Of course all leaders are human, but leaders demonstrate character, virtue and humility – and purpose! Mark Twain once said that the two most important days in any person’s life are the day that they were born, and the day they figure out why. That brings true gratification to the individuals, and also demonstrates true leadership to those around. All of this is summarized by Pericles, who said “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” Truly words to live by. . .

The thought for the week comes from our great friend Carole, who said she thought of the end of our 2 Paragraphs when she read this comment: “Mice die in mouse traps because they do not understand why the cheese is free: Just like socialism.”

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 And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at 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, 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.