Readers write: Prioritizing options, difference-makers

Letters to the editor for the Aug. 21, 2017 weekly magazine.

Wilfredo Lee/AP
A Netflix DVD envelope and Netflix on-screen television menu are shown in Surfside, Fla. on Oct. 1, 2011.

Prioritizing options

Robert Klose’s July 3 Home Forum essay, “We waited, and it was worth it,” rightfully pointed out that people have lost the pleasure of anticipation because so much is instantaneously available. I would add that this “on demand” culture has caused stress that many people are not aware of. Since almost everything can be done right now, we must be constantly prioritizing our options. We are inundated with demands for our time and attention, and because we can’t possibly do everything simultaneously, we are always falling behind.

Mr. Klose wisely created his own anticipation by making lemonade from scratch. I get Netflix DVDs through the mail and the DVD sits around until there is a convenient time to watch it. I turn off notifications on my apps. I decide when to check apps; I don’t let them govern me. And when I sit on my balcony to enjoy nature, I may take out my print copy of The Christian Science Monitor Weekly, but I leave all electronics in the house. We have to create our peaceful spaces in this world.

Suzanne B. Soule

South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

Difference-makers

I am a longtime subscriber to The Christian Science Monitor. I jokingly tell my friends that I read it “religiously” (I am not a Christian Scientist). I look forward to each week’s issue, knowing that I will enjoy some articles more than others. 

But the June 12 issue was the zenith of what you do so well. Each article was informative and many were inspiring. And if I were to give each issue a theme, this one would be “people making a difference.” I read of a Thai woman turning her prison experience into a mission to improve prison conditions for other women. I learned more about Martin Luther King Jr.’s efforts to improve the circumstances of sanitation workers in Memphis. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg shared his optimism on America’s efforts to minimize climate change in a Q-and-A on his new book. And Marjorie Kehe, in her Home Forum essay, brought me to tears recalling how her father inspired her to travel and live life more fully.

Rusty Wyrick

Ghivizzano, Italy

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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.

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