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Newspaper Page Text
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ONE MAN'S OPINIONS
BY N. D. COCHRAN
Letters From Readers. The many
letters coming to me concerning sub
jects discussed in this colmn indicate
that it is succeeding in its purpose.
That is it stimulates the mind and
starts people to thinking.
It is not important that readers
agree with me, for I am just as apt
to think wrong as -they are. I have
labeled the column "One Man's Opin
ions" because I want' for one thing,
to emphasize the fact that any news
paper editorial is one man's opinion.
The writer may hide behind the
mysterious editorial "We," and may
carry more weight with readers be
cause his identity is not disclosed.
But it is one man's opinion just the
Every one of us should try to be
helpful in some way. I know of no
better way to be helpful than by help
ing thousands of people daily to do
their own thinking. J can't think
YOU to freedom. YOU will have to
think your own way out. I am not
at all sure that I have thought my
way even to freedom of thought.
We go along from day to day doing
the same thing over and over again.
And life becomes monotonous. We
get into a rut and find it difficult to
get out. Working in a rut appears to
be the easiest way. And when one
is entirely contented he has stopped
Any man will amaze himself at
what he has stored in his mind if he
gets in the habit of thinking, things
out for himself. As I sit pounding
this out of my typewriter I wish that
everybody could devote some time
daily to writing out his thoughts,
even though he shows to nobody
what he writes. His mind will grow
with the mental exercise.
I try to write freely when writing
these opinions, and shall not handi
cap myself by trying to be consistent.
If I think one thing today I will write
it and print it, If L see-another light
and think differently next week, why
I'll write that, too. -"
Why try to be consistent?
If I think one thing today and say
it aloud, must I go on forever stick
ing to that opinion even if I change
I buy a suit of clothes and wear it
out. Then I buy a new one. Don't
opinions wear out?
To me a judge is one of the fun
niest things in life. In trying to de
termine what the law means he reads
the opinions of other judges who have
been dead possibly a hundred yearn
He reads what other judges thought
the law meant when they had to de
cide. His face is most always toward
He is a slave of precedent, author
ity, tradition and superstition. Now
and then a brave, adventurous soul
inhabits the carcass of a judge. He
turns his back on the past and looks
ahead. A new precedent is estab
lished for future judges to go by.
And thousands of them go by that
for years and years until another
brave soul establishes another prece
dent. In the meantime we are governed
by laws made by men who lived in a
different age and under entirely dif
ferent social and industrial condi
tions. But lawyers are no different men
tally than other men. In every trade
or profession men do the things as
they were done years ago, until some
heroic soul finds a new and better
way and sets a new mark to steer
Newspapers don't change much.
The changes that do come are slow.
Very seldom is anything really new
I think one trouble with all of us is
that we are afraid to think aloud the
thoughts that we are not sure some;
body else hasn't thought. We find
joy in reading something in print that
we have thoughbbut never expressed.
i It is all right now, for somebody els$
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