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Column: A teacher's wise words

WORTHINGTON -- In the midst of scrolling through friends' Facebook statuses and postings -- many of them political -- last week, I came upon some sage advice.

Thanks to a high school classmate, I was able to read the thoughts of our 10th-grade Social Studies teacher about Election Day. And, though they're not exactly complex in nature, they are grounded in what to me is an ideal perspective.

"Who are you voting for? I have been asked that by so many," Mr. Patterson -- one of my all-time favorite teachers -- wrote on Facebook. "If I did my job well for all these years, it doesn't matter who I'm voting for. What matters is that you vote."

Simple enough, but there's more.

"My hope is that you can find candidates that you feel represent you best," he continued, adding: "My hope for all of you is that when you vote you will always be able to vote FOR someone rather than AGAINST someone. Even though we may disagree on our political choices, we are all Americans and we all share a belief that this right to vote is precious."

You may notice that the opinion columns on this page today don't support one presidential candidate over the other. That's by design.

That's because our desire is to stress that despite all the polling, despite all the disingenuous campaigning, despite some shady tactics -- the election is now entirely up to us.

"Celebrate that we have the opportunity to choose rather than hurl insults at those who have different viewpoints," my wise old teacher added. "This nation has survived with both great leaders and not so great. The day after Election Day, we will begin anew to hope and pray that all who have been chosen by the people will succeed."

Amen to that.

Ryan McGaughey

I first joined the Daily Globe in April 2001 as sports editor. I later became the news editor in November 2002, and the managing editor in August 2006. I'm originally from New York State, and am married with two children.

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