Huron Plainsman | Solve NOT to solve


“There are no promises, looking into the great abyss
After almost losing everything you won
So now you stand in front
those who know you more
Call your name.
Venice – “Welcome to the rest of your life”

I surprised Venice at a show in college, and the fact that they were a family band and they had a really good acoustic sound with vocal harmony appealed to me, but the song quoted always puzzled me until I saw an interview with Michael Lennon, who was the song’s co-author.

He explained how the song describes a young person returning to a family dynamic which is not both healthy for the young person and who also badly needs the presence of the young person to eventually find a healthy dynamic.

Being both affected by a toxic environment and being part of the response to detoxifying that environment seems apt as we look to 2022.

Many like to make resolutions to start a new year, and I make private resolutions about how many books I want to read, my physical activity, and other similar goals for the coming year, but professionally I resolved not to solve.

Let me explain.

Merriam-Webster offers two verbal uses of the word “resolve” – ​​both as a transitive and an intransitive verb.

For those of you who weren’t fortunate enough to have Ms. Mutch and Ms. Decker in Wolsey to help you with your basic grammar education, the simple difference is that a transitive verb is a verb that requires that you someone or something receives the action of the verb, while an intransitive verb acts on its own, without needing a direct object complement.

The second definition of resolve as a transitive verb is what most people are thinking about right now: “make a firm decision about”.

However, the first definition as an intransitive verb is the one I hope to avoid in 2022: “to separate into constituent parts”.

In 2003, I led a church youth group that I served at the ELCA National Youth Gathering in Atlanta. The theme of the gathering that year centered around Ubuntu, a word taken from the Zulu language of South Africa, and a philosophy spoken by the recently deceased Bishop Desmond Tutu.

Tutu relayed the long-standing Ubuntu philosophy of “I am because we are” within African communities, which emphasized trust and the need for community and mutual support in both the good and the bad. state of life.

My work email is bombarded with messages from the two main political parties trying to create a divide that doesn’t really exist.

A recent example was a letter from the leader of the state’s Republican Party, celebrating the SD Supreme Court’s decision on Amendment A with a message titled “Great news! “

Oh good?

In 2020, 225,260 South Dakota voters voted in favor of Amendment A, which you may recall dealing with recreational marijuana.

For a numeric benchmark, while it was 54% of those who voted on the amendment in last year’s ballot, it was still 52.7% of all ballots (some people don’t choose to vote for ballot questions, only for races by position).

In comparison, in the last gubernatorial race, Kristi Noem finished with 172,912 votes, more than 50,000 less than Amendment A received.

This raw number of votes can quickly be argued that it was due to a non-presidential ballot, except that Kristi only received 51% of the votes in her race and 50.7% of the votes of all voters in the ballot. 2018 – at least two to three percent LESS statewide support than Amendment A had.

Simple calculations indicate that Noem’s votes represent 76.8% of the total Amendment A received, while the 2018 ballot recorded 79.8% of the turnout for the 2020 elections. The difference of about 3 % is holding up – yet one party presents it as “good news” that the will of the people has been defeated.

This year, the governor of that state, which our three local lawmakers, who are from the same political party, said in the 2021 legislative session was not transparent in his spending of state resources for private travel and security, is in place for re-election.

Senator John Thune and Rep. Dusty Johnson are both running for the fall election and could face major opponents. Locally, a seat on the municipal commission will be up for grabs in April, and three seats on the county commission will be elected in the fall.

Finally, speaking of our representation in the state, this year’s redistribution will mean voters will also have new candidates and potential primary elections coming up with the move from Kingsbury County to Spink County as the associated main county. in Beadle in District 22.

After spending a year in respected camps and throwing stones and barbs back and forth, a significant impact can be made this year by finding the candidates who are ready to support legislation that helps ALL people (and to l conversely, fight legislation that marginalizes or hurts people).

We have seen continuously separate things in this country for far too long.

It is time to start supporting those who will be willing to put the party aside after their name in order to work for the best of those of us who pay taxes.

So I don’t want to resolve in 2022 if that means further separation. I want to see things come together instead of being further apart, splitting into separate corners, like a boxing ring, waiting for the opening bell to ring.

The idea of ​​a ringing bell reminds me, however, that there is another definition of resolution that I might choose to support.

This is the fifth definition in Merriam-Webster’s transitive verb forms of the word: “to make (something, such as one or more vocal parts or full musical harmony) progress from dissonance to consonance”.

For this musician, there is too long a seventh note hanging in the discord of the world. Solve this to a point of harmony – now this is a bit of a resolution that I might fall behind in 2022.

About Leslie Schwartz

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