Maturity can flourish at home

As a college grad who now has lived with my parents for three years, I read with great interest the article "More graduates opt to live with mom and dad" (July 9) and Kenneth Bonacci's responding letter July 13. After completing my college degree, I did go out and try to make it on my own in the "real world." My last intention was to end up back at home. Realizing that I was getting nowhere fast on the path to a successful career, my parents convinced me to move home. It was the best choice I have ever made.

My parents' goal was not to let me hide from the world or return to childhood, but rather to provide me with the opportunity to explore a variety of options without undue financial pressure. The benefits of this time cannot be enumerated. Not only have I worked in several fields, which led me to a completely unanticipated field of graduate study, but our ties as a family have been strengthened, and I have learned more about responsibility than I did while living alone in New York City.

Contrary to Mr. Bonacci's statement about America, other cultures are in fact much more accepting of having children remain with their parents well into their 20s. This, of course, excludes cultures in which children are sent to be exploited and to live on the street at the age of 10. All parents have to choose what will be the most effective way to promote their children's best interests. I hope we are seeing a trend toward a deeper understanding of what constitutes true maturity. It simply cannot be measured by one's ability to pay rent. This 20-something returnee is not ashamed, but is eternally grateful for the sacrifice made by her parents. Oh, and the free laundry and gourmet meals haven't been a bad deal.

Laura Lapointe Lexington, Mass.

Patrol more, rescue less

Am I unclear on the concept of border patrol? Until I read your July 13 article "Border Patrol: from cop to rescue ranger," I was under the impression that their job was to protect Americans from illegals swamping our schools, job markets, and welfare offices. Now I learn that our taxes are supporting a "police" force that rescues lawbreakers in the act.

When political correctness infects a law enforcement agency, the results are absurd, as well as dangerous.

Dana Garcia Berkeley, Calif.

People sprawling all over the place

In your July 12 article "Bush tilts to friendlier tone on immigrants," Angela Kelley of the National Immigration Forum in Washington responds to sprawl concerns by saying that "it's not immigrants who are driving SUVs and building McMansions. They're taking the bus and opening businesses." While this is correct, the problem lies in what she doesn't say: people have to live somewhere.With housing in very short supply in many places, addingmore people is precisely what drives urban sprawl.

James Roddick Redwood City, Calif.

Our Maginot Line

Our proposed missile shield, which you comment on in the July 13 edition of the Monitor ("Making missile shield inevitable") is reminiscent of the Maginot Line. The French constructed this 200-mile-long impregnable fortress along their northeast border to hold off any frontal military attack the Germans might launch. In 1940, the Germans simply drove around it and quickly overwhelmed France as World War II exploded upon us.

Those who wish to attack us will find ways to circumvent our Maginot Line.

Samuel M. Felton Southwest Harbor, Maine

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Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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