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January 2020: Reader Reply

If you could make a New Year’s resolution for the state of North Dakota, what would it be and why?

Every New Year’s, resolutions are made and broken at a frantic rate: lose weight, quit smoking, save more money. The list is endless with our good intentions, but the average resolution goes by the wayside in about 30 days, according to studies.

I often wonder what would happen if we all practiced something we were taught as children: Treat others as you want to be treated.

Imagine if every North Dakotan’s resolution was to treat each person they meet with respect, dignity, compassion, forgiveness and love. If each of us followed this timeless teaching regardless of another’s skin color, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality or political party, the wonders that could occur boggle the mind.

Our children would soar with confidence and blossom with kindness; after all, children learn what they live and live what they learn.

People may feel the need to escape with drugs and alcohol less often because they would feel valued.

Everyone’s physical, mental and emotional health could improve, all because of a resolution!

I made this simple, but profound, resolution years ago. It’s been an easy one to keep. Now, as far as those extra pounds, well, there’s always next year.

Judy Bennett, member of Northern Plains Electric Cooperative

Everyone loves feeling and showing their patriotism toward their country; why shouldn’t they feel the same depth of devotion for their state? My North Dakota resolution is to create more opportunities, and capitalize on existing ones, for North Dakotans to come together and show their loyalty for their home state.

Whether it be promoting existing, or creating new, craft fairs for North Dakota-made products; organizing community activities; or creating more opportunities for children to be educated and involved in North Dakota’s economic and social culture, I believe North Dakota would benefit in so many ways from infusing loyalty and enthusiasm into citizens.

As a true-blue North Dakotan, I would love to see North Dakota embrace its culture with passion and create more opportunities for citizens to feel and express their state loyalty. After all, North Dakota is the state to “Be Legendary.”

Haylee Duvall, member of Cass County Electric Cooperative

It’s a shame that North Dakota schools are struggling to keep student meal fee accounts current in this state. We have capable farmers and ranchers who grow an abundance of food. North Dakota is known for its quality agricultural products throughout the world. And we have oil reserve money available for prudent uses.

So, my resolution for the state of North Dakota is to fund every North Dakota school’s lunch program in full, so parents won’t need to pay student lunch fees and kids won’t have to be embarrassed or receive a “lesser” lunch if their account isn’t paid. Let’s let schools spend more time teaching and less time being bill collectors.

Curt Kost, member of KEM Electric Cooperative

North Dakota already leads the nation in being a warm and contented people, so I think the state’s resolution would be to take the lead in the nation as being a community-minded people who use commonsense and care for one another to live and govern.

Keeping people as the focus, let North Dakota be the place where cooperation keeps us moving forward. As a state, we could set the standard of being beyond politics and working for the good of one another. There will always be differences and they can be embraced and heard, but the resolution is to show a state where we recognize our blessings and use them to work together on solutions and advancement.

Priscilla Backstrom, member of Northern Plains Electric Cooperative

If I could make a New Year’s resolution for North Dakota, it would be to stop all “bullying.” We all see the bad effects bullying has on people.

We just have to watch the nightly news to see the results. Our schools are trying hard to stop it, with different programs to help with the problem.

But we need those lessons to start in the home, because that is where children learn their first and most lasting lessons in life. How many parents, siblings and even grandparents do not discipline constructively with kindness and understanding, but with harshness, anger and bullying?

It is also bad with adults in the workforce, which is mostly brought on by the “bully” being jealous of the victim. Verbal bullying may even be worse sometimes than physical bullying, because one person’s evil words can live with someone for a lifetime, changing that person forever. The bully forgets what he or she has said, but the victims remember how the bully made them feel, carrying it with them for life.

What a wonderful world we would have if all of us showed more kindness and compassion to others. Love and kindness is a wonderful gift to give. It’s inexpensive, easy to exchange, always comes back to you, and is a forever gift!

LaVonne Myhre, member of Northern Plains Electric Cooperative

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