Monday, September 8, 2014

Solve, resolve, absolve

A guy by the name of T.V. Smith gave a lecture to the National Conference on Social Welfare back in 1955 entitled "Solve, Resolve, Absolve".

What he said was that problems occur at three levels and we, humans, get ourselves into trouble when we confuse the levels.

First, there are problems that can be solved. They are problems that follow Natural laws or logic. A water molecule is make up of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, H2O, or 2+2=4.

Second, there are problems that are a matter of preference or taste. What flavor of ice cream do you like best, vanilla or chocolate? Who will make a better President, Obama or McCain? There is no objective answer, disagreements and contradictions have to be resolved. There has to be compromise.

Third, there are problems that can only be absolved. A person driving down a busy residential street accidentally runs over and kills a two year old child who darts into traffic between two parked cars. Nothing can bring the life of the child back or compensate the parents for their loss. There is no solution or resolution to this problem only absolution.

Using the right management strategy for the problem at is own level can make all the difference in the world in the search for truth and meaning. Looking for truth at the first level in a political discussion not only won't work but is inappropriate, right? etc.


  1. Wonderful! To bad more people don't appreciate the distinction.

    1. I agree Chris but then half of the talk shows would be out of business. This simple model would eliminate 90% of the blather that fills our media these days.