It’s not just about you.

That’s an important fact to remember as early voting begins next week.

Sometimes when we consider political candidates and issues it seems we think only of ourselves. Will I see the benefit of that new program? Will my street or road get paved? Will my tax bill go up?

But sometimes, perhaps even often, what seems best for an individual may not be what makes the most sense for our city, our state, our nation. (And, in the long run, it may not actually be best for us individually after all.)

Education is a great example.

It could be easily argued by someone who does not have children or whose children are beyond school-age that spending on education has no benefit to them. They have been to school. They have no children to send there. Why should they pay for the education of others? And why would they even think about voting to increase taxes for the benefit of education?

Yet, time and time again, education is a spending priority.

Why? Because we as a nation believe education is important. That’s why public education is compulsory — every state requires education through at least the age of 16, with some exceptions allowed — rather than optional.

Greater levels of educational attainment help us to achieve a better standard of living, not just for the individual but for our country as a whole. That’s why it makes sense for someone to support it even though it may not have an immediate impact on them.

Remember that as you think about the issues. Consider not only how a candidate and his or her policies may impact you but also how it will impact your friends, your neighbors, your fellow Hoosiers, your fellow Americans.

The words that appear on our nation’s seal — e pluribus unum (out of many, one) — are a reminder that we are all in this together.

Consider that when you go to the polls.

Because it’s not just about you. It’s about all of us.

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