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From the Lefthand Corner: Bad and good can be the same

My granddaughter, Gena, was sitting unusually quiet and contemplative in a chair facing mine. It was Christmastime, just months after she was 3. In her small voice, she looked up and said spontaneously, "Granpa, if something looks really bad, jus...

My granddaughter, Gena, was sitting unusually quiet and contemplative in a chair facing mine. It was Christmastime, just months after she was 3.

In her small voice, she looked up and said spontaneously, "Granpa, if something looks really bad, just turn it around and look at the good."

There was no conversation preceding her pronouncement. I didn't hear either parent or other adult say anything to trigger it. That was all she said.

Out of the mouths of babes. We adults are often instructed, less succinctly, to "always look at the bright side," "to accentuate the positive," "to look at the glass half-full rather than half-empty," and the list goes on.

We have probably learned over the years that if we wake up out of sorts and grumbling about the lousy day we are facing, it most certainly will be a lousy day. Conversely, if we wake up smiling and telling ourselves that it is going to be a great day, it most likely will be a great day.

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I fervently hope that Gena can live in accordance with her precocious pronouncement as a guiding principle all of her life. So far she appears to be doing so.

This year we have one remaining presidential candidate who is rapidly proceeding to the finish line in a major over emphasis on what is bad in America.

He refers to our American cities as hellholes of runaway crime and social collapse. He complains that we have "crime at levels that nobody has seen." He downgrades our women and underpaid workers. He categorizes our Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists. He denigrates all Muslims and assumes that all Syrian refugees are ISIS-prone.

Throughout, he shouts from the rooftops and through every microphone he can buy access to that if we voters in general, and specifically the African American and Hispanic American voters that he has just castigated, will just blindly trust him, that HE personally and individually will quickly solve all our problems. And HE will re-create a great America from the mess of Democratic created demise.

And so he goes, with focus on himself, blasting away in constant barrage about all conditions being bad in America.

We have another presidential candidate this year who is proceeding methodically but so far, at least, on a more successful path to the presidency. She is relying on cooperation in concert with many others to bring about change and improvement in our already good America.

She is willing to be patient but persistent, taking small steps when big steps are not possible, all in long-term effort to move us all toward a better educated America, a more peaceful America, a healthier America and a more prosperous America with more opportunity for all in America.

She is optimistic about America. She embraces our diversity. She is steadfast in her lifelong Christian faith. She lives by example, a life of family values.

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She understands that effective governance requires great combination of patience with tenacity and willingness to govern with cooperation and reasoned compromise.

There are two remaining viable campaigns to gain the U.S. presidency. The two candidates are proceeding on diametrically opposite paths. You'd think they were functioning from opposite ends of the earth.

However, the facts are the same. The past has been set in stone and cannot be changed. Our present facts are what exist today. Any changes will only be what actually occurs during the diminishing days between now and whatever occurs before Nov. 8.

We can look for the bad and complain, criticize, envy or wish we had what someone else has and sit and feel sorry for ourselves.

Or we can look for the good. We can be thankful and appreciative and feel gratitude for what we have and what America is. In the world's longest living democracy, we can enjoy freedom to engage in the religion we choose, and we retain the greatest freedom of expression.

We can freely express our choices, positive or negative. We can vote on or before Nov. 8. I'm voting for Hillary Clinton. I'm going with my granddaughter. I'm looking for the good.

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