Readers write: Enriching poetry, insight into interpreters, following Mars news, straws and sea life, local impact of controversy

Letters to the editor for the Aug. 20, 2018 weekly magazine.

Jeff Chiu/AP
Wrapped plastic straws are offered at a bubble tea cafe in San Francisco.

Enriching poetry

Danny Heitman’s review in the July 9 & 16 issue of Ted Kooser’s new book of poetry, “Kindest Regards,” was uplifting to read. I was enriched and I plan to buy the book. Thank you!

Karyn Mandan

Berkeley, Calif.

Insight into interpreters

How about a piece on the two interpreters who were in the room with President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un when they met in June? Their roles were critical. The recognition of the importance of translator training and second language acquisition in the United States is almost nonexistent.

Ellen Adkinson Reddingius

Arroyo Grande, Calif.

Following Mars news

The July 26 Monitor Daily article “Why a subglacial Martian lake raises hopes for alien life” was very interesting. I would like to see you follow any further exploration of Mars as well as other planets in our solar system. We always trust Monitor news as the best of accurate reporting.

Lawry Yerby

Rancho Murieta, Calif.

Straws and sea life

After reading the June 25 article “Ditching straws to save sea life,” I will now politely decline a straw when being served a beverage. Thank you!

Paul O’Donnell

Providence, R.I.

Local impact of controversy

I really liked the insights to be found in the June 29 Monitor Daily article “Din and discord – and then? Red Hen city as a parable of our time.” It took it out of the national level and showed the impact on a local economy, local businesses, and local relationships. Excellent job.

Debbie Corpus

Dayton, Ohio

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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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