Readers Write: Nostalgia for the Postal Service; Oversexualization of society; Good parents can be made

Letters to the Editor for July 28, 2014 weekly magazine:

Willis: There is nothing like the feeling of receiving a hand written letter

Lozer: Santa Barbara shoots showed problems of society's oversexualiztion 

Gibel: Good parenting skills can be taught

Matt Rourke/AP/File
Letter carrier Kevin Pownall gathers mail from the back of his truck in Philadelphia on March 2, 2010.

Nostalgia for the written letter

As a die-hard supporter of the [US Postal Service], I was delighted to read the July 7 & 14 Home Forum essay, “Why I still cling to the mailman.” Sending and receiving full-fledged, handwritten personal letters is rare for me these days. But I still believe in personal, hand-signed greeting cards, and I avail myself of every opportunity to send one via letter carrier; electronic greetings just aren’t the same. Additionally, I’m happy to affix a first-class stamp and send any number of items, when I could just as easily forward them via e-mail. It’s my way of supporting an institution I believe we will all sorely miss, if and when postal carriers become a thing of the past.

Alan Willis
Portland, Ore.

Underlying causes of shootings

While the online article “Santa Barbara Killings: Did misogynist hate groups play a role?” (CSMonitor.com, May 28) makes a valid point that male shooters have been influenced by misogyny, I wonder if there is a more basic point to explore: the oversexualization of US culture. Because of this oversexualization, an unstable person may well think that he or she is entitled to sex. That’s the true problem that needs addressing.

Dan Lozer
Struble, Iowa

Good parents can be made

Regarding the May 19 cover story, “Can parenting really be taught?”: There is no question in my mind that parenting can be taught. I was a high school health education teacher for 32 years in Long Island, N.Y., and our senior health course had a section on parenting. We taught about relationships, marriage, family planning, and children, including positive ways to raise them. I disagree with the notion that developing children’s “self-esteem” was a failure. You cannot “give” children self-esteem, but you can help develop it. And children with real self-esteem will not be “underachievers and bullies.”

Ira H. Gibel
Pine, Ariz

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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.