Academy can help inform our opinions
If there’s one thing this country could use more of it would be civics lessons, which is why the Ocean Pines Academy and other programs like it are so important.
Criticizing the administration of a community, county, state or the nation itself is something everyone has a constitutional right to do, but that criticism would be more valid and less prone to an indulgence in wild theories if more people knew what they were talking about.
As it is, a great many people are prone to filling in the blanks themselves when facts are missing, or accepting someone else’s explanation for why things are the way they are. In other words, something is true when everyone believes it’s true, regardless of the facts.
Besides, it’s easy for the public to mistrust the people in charge when there’s no real understanding of how what they do or how they do it. The Ocean Pines Academy, which is a kind of sequel to the Ocean City University program created by the late City Clerk Kathy Mathias, allows citizens to get down to the foundation of the who, what, when, where and how of governance and operations.
Segments range from the board of directors to finance to bicycle safety to the governing documents, all included in what the association Marketing Department describes as a “self-paced civic education course about the Ocean Pines Association.”
Led by Marketing Coordinator Julie Malinowski, the academy has gone live and is available at https://www.oceanpines.org/web/pages/ocean-pines-academy.
Check it out. As already noted above, having an opinion is one thing, but having an informed opinion, which the academy proposes to help provide, is an obligation that good citizens should want to fulfill.