Readers write: Reader appreciation for Ruth Walker, Cassini coverage

Letters to the editor for the Oct. 16, 2017 weekly magazine.

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute/AP
The planet Saturn is seen from the Cassini spacecraft on July 23, 2008.

Reader appreciation for Ruth Walker

Regarding the Sept. 25 Home Forum article “Ruth Walker: part of the Monitor family”: It took me a while to realize just what a gem each of Ruth Walker’s “Verbal Energy” essays was, but for the past several years, her column was the first thing I read each week. 

Her wit and knowledge never failed to impress me, as did her talent at producing each week an interesting piece about words that never failed to inform and entertain. I will miss her.

Jonathan Mitschele

New Gloucester, Maine

Count me among those deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ruth Walker. Her “Verbal Energy” column had quickly become one of my favorite features in the Monitor, and I always looked forward to learning new insights into the English language from her every week – there were times when I would start reading an issue from the back page. She will be sorely missed. 

Thank you to the Monitor for sharing her wonderful column, and my sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Paul Berge

Sturtevant, Wis.

I am sad to hear about Ruth Walker. Her “Verbal Energy” column was always the first thing I turned to when I got my Monitor Weekly. She brought a lot of attention (and fun) to words and caused me to go to my dictionary often!

What a great woman! She will be missed.

Johnette Perry

Orinda, Calif.

Cassini coverage

I have really enjoyed the articles about the mission of the Cassini spacecraft that the Monitor has carried. They are enlightening and expand my thought of the universe. I always enjoy pondering something bigger than myself. Keep up the good work!

Karen Neff

Mystic, Conn.

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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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