Readers write: Growing trend with ‘small living,’ gentle exposure of hatred, humorous author

Letters to the editor for the Oct. 2, 2017 weekly magazine.

Jessica Mendoza/Staff
Visitors take a tour of a tiny house on July 22, 2017, at a local sustainability festival at Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, Wash.

Growing trend with ‘small living’

Regarding the Aug. 21 Monitor Daily story “Home prices, and a thought shift, give ‘small living’ a boost”: This story definitely shifted my perspective. 

A couple of years ago, one of my friends sold his house and his belongings that would not fit in his truck. He now lives “between” the homes of his friends and his adult children. 

Before reading this story, I thought this was a one-off situation, but now I see how it fits into a much larger trend.

David Fares

Ballwin, Mo.

Gentle exposure of hatred

Regarding the Aug. 19 online article “The message from a day of protests in Boston” ( I appreciate this article and the careful way the material is covered. The photo gallery was a terrific addition. 

While I am so grateful we live in a time in which tens of thousands turned out to protest hate speech, the gentle exposure of hatred from some of the counterprotesters expressed toward the “haters” in this article seems important to me. 

We all need to be called on that.

This article shows that it’s definitely time to get very clear about the difference between free speech and hate speech. 

I would love to see the Monitor explore what that difference is. Is it possible to have standards for public discourse that everyone can feel included in, if certain guidelines are followed?

Ellen Austin

Corvallis, Ore.

Humorous author

I loved your review of the book “So Happiness to Meet You,” by Karen Esterhammer, which appeared on on Aug. 31. 

It was the author’s humor and sarcastic wit that I loved the most. I would have loved to have seen more quotes from her!

Loriann Payne

Colton, Ore.

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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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