Day of Rest Still Honored by Some

It was a pleasure to read a sensible, impartial discussion of Sundays in "On the Seventh Day - They Closed Shop" (Work & Money, May 4). Rules established on the overt basis of religious commandment seem based on centuries of experience with human and societal well-being. The custom of setting aside a day of rest is being lost to personal convenience and commercial ambitions.

In our increasingly secular society, a "free" day ceases to be one of rest and recharging for the days ahead. It becomes one of frenetic activity, in which a week's worth of living is crammed into one or two days. It may not be too much to say that we are losing the ability to rest. I find keeping the Sabbath gives me time to look past my problems and plans, to look about at the world, and to look within to assess life in terms beyond day-to-day experience.

Communities and business owners that make a stand for providing shopping-free Sundays deserve commendation.

Ruth Edwins Conley

Tonasket, Wash.

Take more responsibility for actions

The problem with the opinion article "A New Hedonism at the Barricades" (May 11), on recent riots at colleges and universities, is that it doesn't explain the background: This issue isn't restricted to campuses in the US but is a more general social problem.

As a young Canadian, I find many of the US laws laughable because they seem to do nothing but encourage disobedience. You could stop this by bringing personal responsibility into the arena. If I want to drink, I should be able to, but I should be held accountable for my actions, not society. Growing up is about rebelling and breaking rules. But some rules don't encourage responsibility but rather recklessness and the desire to blame society for one's problems.

Stefan Skocylas

Banff, Alberta, Canada

Upside of US aid to private industry

In reply to the Readers Write letter "The Taxpayers Once Saved Chrysler" (May 11): I would like to point out just how wise our government was to have saved Chrysler.

I had my doubts about whether the company was worth saving, but management repaid the government well before the amount was due. The company became a leader in new automotive thinking. Chrysler forced the introduction of airbags on an unwilling industry and provided further competition, which translates into lower prices.

The reader asked if taxpayers deserve a share of the profits in light of the merger with Daimler-Benz. But the government already has reaped benefits. Since its revival, Chrysler has paid millions in taxes. These taxes were paid not only by the corporation and its shareholders (who are double taxed on these earnings), but also in payroll taxes by employees who were able to keep their jobs. Would US taxpayers have been better served if Chrysler had dissolved? Those revenues would have gone abroad! Would that have been less bothersome?

William Flatley

Elsah, Ill.

Improved outlook

It was a bad news day. I waded through my local paper. Every story, it seemed, was bad news, poorly reported and written. After an impassioned out-loud diatribe delivered into empty air, I pulled up your online newspaper. Things began to get better.

Much of the news was still disquieting, but now it was at least thoughtful, well-covered, and well-written. Then, I stumbled across your Home Forum page and read two delightful stories: "Life, Love, and 42 Pounds of Laundry," and "The Unadorned Art of Ironing" (May 13). Somehow, they restored my ordinarily good-natured and optimistic perspectives on life, and I could now get on with what I needed to do without being, any more than usual, a surly old curmudgeon.

David Owen

Austin, Texas

We welcome your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail, only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. 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

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