Readers Write: Bullies need mental health help, too; Peace resonates; Good ideas are contagious

Letters to the Editor for the November 4, 2013 weekly print magazine:

Victims of bullying who hurt themselves or others are also likely suffering from mental illness and deserve help. But probably so are bullies. Let's offer them the mental-health services they need.

Ronny Edry's "Israel loves Iran" campaign shows that individuals can have a voice. We can each add to what I believe will be a "critical mass" who support an end to all war.

If we don't talk about alternatives to political gridlock, then there is no chance of inspiration or change. Ideas are contagious.

Bullies need mental-health services

In Jonathan Zimmerman's Oct. 7 commentary, "Stand up to the bully of mental illness," he makes some interesting points about the possible overreach of anti-bullying laws that have recently been enacted around the United States.

He further notes that some victims of bullying who go on to hurt themselves or others are most likely suffering from some underlying mental illness, and at the conclusion he asserts the "need to identify those kids, and offer them the help they deserve." Three cheers! And while we're at it, let's identify the bullies, too, and offer them the mental-health services they also need.

Lynne Crowley

Larchmont, N.Y.

A message of peace that resonates

Thank you for the Oct. 7 Common Ground, Common Good commentary feature on the work of Ronny Edry ("Interview: a heart-to-heart between Israelis, Iranians"). It offered a wonderful opportunity for those of us who have followed Mr. Edry's attempt to send love, not hate, to the people of Iran to register our own wishes for peace.

I have sent many e-mails to friends pointing them to the Monitor's video interview with Edry. My Sunday school class and a group of US Marine recruits that I teach have all marveled that we as individuals can have a voice to add to a growing group of those who support an end to all war, which I believe will someday become a "critical mass."

Sally Lind

Encinitas, Calif.

Good ideas can be contagious

Thank you for publishing Jim Kastama's Oct. 14 Common Ground, Common Good commentary, "Why I stepped over the party line to get results," which gave an account of his work as a Washington State senator to reach a compromise on a budget. I'm not a politician and have difficulty seeing national elected officials reading and taking this piece to heart. But ideas are contagious; if we don't talk about alternatives, then there is no chance of inspiration or change.

Betty Jo Mears

Reno, Nev.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.