The greatest service we can do for our children is to teach them how to think. The greatest service we can do for ourselves is to remember that lesson. This may sound like common sense, but common sense seems to be fading in today’s society. Daily we are bombarded by those who are confident in their conclusions, expecting us to accept them without question. Teachers, unions, politicians and the media push us to forget our history, traditions, principles and past sacrifices; abandoning all we know from our life experiences to be true. We are told what to think. They attack our integrity and insult our reasoning. They want us to assume our compass faulty. They need and want us to just go along.

Voltaire wrote; “Doubt is not a pleasant state of mind, but certainty is absurd,” especially when blindly following power-concentrating political leaders and dictators who believe their own lies. The preservation of our freedom requires us to think and analyze more deeply today than ever.

In “Self-Reliance,” Emerson wrote “Whoso would be a man must be a non-conformist.” His point was not to be violent or riot. His point was clear and simple— if you wish to live well, be happy, be your best, help society to prosper, and ensure our freedom and liberties are enjoyed by following generations, do your own thinking and encourage others to do the same.

—Tom Janicki,