Readers write: Fighting hate in Idaho, all-hands response to hurricane, left a piece of her heart in St. John

Letters to the editor for the Oct. 9, 2017 weekly magazine.

Juan Lozano/AP
On Sept. 26, 2017, workers continue clearing debris from the home of Houston resident Chris Slaughter, whose house in the suburb of Kingwood was flooded by 5 1/2 feet of water during Harvey's torrential rainfall.

Fighting hate in Idaho

Regarding the Aug. 31 Monitor Daily article “The Idaho community that drove out hate”: This was an excellent article that showed how good thinking and acting can stop hatred, especially when a community acts together. My son and his wife now live in Meridian, Idaho, so it had extra interest for me. In the words of Mary Baker Eddy, “Love is the liberator.” Keep up the good work.

Jean Stefan

San Mateo, Calif.

The article “The Idaho community that drove out hate” is encouraging. But we shouldn’t have to wait until there’s physical violence to respond to hateful expressions. Verbal violence is also injurious, especially to young people. Organizing to defend human rights as they did is a wonderful thing, but I still wonder how we should defend the right of free speech when that speech is harmful.

DeAnne Hart

Watsonville, Calif.

All-hands response to hurricane

Regarding the Aug. 28 Monitor Daily article “In all-hands response to Harvey, lessons from earlier storms”: Thank you for sharing stories of people showing resilience, kindness, and respect for others despite their differences. We so need this in our country. Yes, please cover some of the yawning abysses of poverty and violence in our society, but keep putting successes out there, too, so people can have hope and a pathway to peace together. Thank you!

Pamela Poon

Bozeman, Mont.

Left a piece of her heart in St. John

Thank you for the Sept. 8 CSMonitor.com article “Residents of US Virgin Islands dig out and help each other after hurricane Irma.” It’s been difficult to find any coverage on St. John, especially. I visited for the first time in March of this year and of course left a piece of my heart there. It is a beautiful place with amazing people.

Kathy Boehmer

Hutchinson, Minn.

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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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