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.
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.
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