Readers write: America in the making, and replacing ‘wall’ with ‘bridge’

Letters to the editor for the April 8, 2019 weekly magazine.

Mike Segar/Reuters
A man wears a Trump 2020 button at a campaign rally in Victoria, Texas, on Nov. 3, 2018.

America in the making

Scott Armstrong’s headline prompt in the Jan. 21 Upfront column, to complete the sentence “Making America ____,” needs no other words. 

What cover story writer Linda Feldmann describes is America in the making, a dynamic, never-ending process filled with drama and punctuated by periodic angst. Our national history includes civil war, violence in the streets, shady election results, and myriad other maladies. It also includes generosity of spirit and action, collaboration to solve problems, and a constant striving to live up to the idea of America. 

We might know more, and know more information quickly, than in the past, but we have lived through more perilous times than these. Perhaps we should stop fretting so much and get back to, as Ellen DeGeneres urged, judging each other by the cars that we drive.

Daniel E. White

Honolulu

Replacing 'wall' with 'bridge'

Regarding the Jan. 28 Daily article “How do you define ‘wall’? Keeping Washington open may hinge on the answer.”: Why don’t we replace wall with bridge? Talking and using bridges will move us forward more than finding less divisive words for wall – as in bridge across the aisle, bridge across ideas, bridge across cultures, bridge across religions, bridge across policies, or bridge across countries.

I spent my childhood passing appropriate controls on the Peace Bridge connecting the U.S. and Canada. I never thought about the huge importance of that name. How about a peace bridge to Mexico?

How can we get a bridge on the docket for lawmakers? This should be the mindset across the world and embraced by leaders, including politicians, business leaders, and arts leaders; social organizations; and neighborhoods. An entertainer should start a new song. A “Bridge over Troubled Water” remake, maybe? Thank you for your important journalism!

Dawn Gangwisch Cheyrouze

Chaville, France

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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.