Paragraphs on Liberty

By: 
Jim Gray

As this Christmas and holiday season is upon us, please join me in two reflections. The first is: “We should pause to consider how our lives have been enhanced by some other people, and be grateful for them.” And the second is: “We should pause to consider how we ourselves have been able to have enhanced the lives of others, and be grateful for those opportunities.”

For me, these reflections both originated from Frank Capra’s classic 1947 film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and in many ways they embody the Christmas Spirit. So I wanted to share them with you.

As to the first reflection, and as I wrote in the first sentence of the Introduction of one of my books,* the best decision I ever made in my life was choosing my parents. And this is simply true. Being born to the loving, wonderful and supportive Elizabeth and William Gray provided me fantastic benefits that many people have never come close to receiving.

And, to my everlasting gratification, they knew I loved and appreciated them! (Don’t let you or anyone close to you leave this earth without ensuring that they also know that you love and appreciate them!) And there were many others as well, such as my wonderful wife and children; my sister and her loving and supportive husband; several good and close friends (one of whom helps by giving me suggestions and criticisms of most of my writings, including this 2 Paragraphs series); several former teachers and mentors (some of whom I have subsequently written to express my appreciation); and many more, many of whom I recognize and some of whom I will never know.

Imagine how my life would have been different had they not been in it! But also don’t forget to include in your reflections how you have made positive differences in the lives of others – whether they have realized and expressed appreciation for them or not. It brings genuine gratification just to know that a few things you have done have brought happiness, opportunities and warmth to others – and that should be enough.

So I hope you savor and bask in this give and receive Christmas Spirit with me. Life is good!

 

* Wearing the Robe: the Art and Responsibilities of Judging in Today’s Courts (Square One Press, 2009)

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

 

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