Readers write: Nuclear options, heartbreaking but illuminating, adults’ guidance

Letters to the editor for the Aug. 14, 2017 weekly magazine.

Lee Jin-man/AP
Visitors watch the North side from the unification observatory in Paju, South Korea on Aug. 6, 2017.

Nuclear options

Regarding the July 5 article “North Korea missile test: How big a technological breakthrough?” ( Rather than impose tougher sanctions on North Korea, perhaps the United States should undergo a complete nuclear disarmament. The US could demonstrate a new direction to take in an attempt to promote world peace. North Korea’s efforts to become a nuclear state are their way of “keeping up with the Joneses.” They want to show the world that they are just as good as everyone else. But getting along with our “neighbors” is more important than flexing our nuclear muscles. As long as the US remains a nuclear state, it should not have jurisdiction to cherry-pick those nations allowed to have nuclear weapons. Nuclear accidents can occur in “responsible” nations as well. 

JoAnn Lee Frank

Clearwater, Fla.

Heartbreaking but illuminating

Regarding the July 5 Monitor Daily article “In Ethiopia, lives and traditions disrupted by drought”: This was a heartbreaking but illuminating story. The piece helped me understand the enormity of the problem in Ethiopia through writer Ryan Lenora Brown’s focus on how climate change, poverty, and traditional cultural mores collide in ways that are devastating to communities and individual destinies. The Monitor should definitely come back to topics such as these. We learn so much from journalists like this.

Christine Chao


Adults’ guidance

Regarding the June 14 Monitor Daily article “Support for teens’ mental health”: I am grateful for the spiritually grounded thought expressed in this article and the way the author uses it to support and guide her children. I appreciate her recognition that we, as adults, have a responsibility to all teenagers – to guide them from a higher perspective than that offered by pop culture.

Ann Brown

Elsah, Ill.

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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.”

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