Readers write: Solutions for conflict, and defending freedom

Letters to the editor for the March 16, 2020 weekly magazine. Readers discuss the best way to restore trust and preserve national sovereignty. 

Staff

Solutions for conflict

Ryan Lenora Brown’s report on and extended interview with anthropologist Julienne Anoko – “Amid distrust of Ebola responders, she leads by quiet example” in the Jan. 13 Monitor Weekly – is no less than a revelation. Respecting and listening to the people involved in a crisis are not responsibilities to simply add on to responders’ duties.

Instead, in this article, they are shown to be the substance of an effective treatment for a crisis (in this case, the Ebola epidemic in eastern Congo). That’s because, without mutual trust, experts from abroad are disbelieved, rejected, and even attacked – and their efforts to help undermined. So it’s heartening to read how Dr. Anoko’s insight into and practical grasp of a current situation can lead to resolution, one village at a time. In the article, she says “we need to feel what they are feeling.” Isn’t that the way out of any conflict? 

This article is the epitome of Monitor goals, as articulated in the recent recording of the 2020 Monitor Night Live question-and-answer session with editors and journalists. Thank you all!

Oliver Hirsh
Klippinge, Denmark

Defending freedom

Thank you for the excellent cover story “Estonia’s cyber warriors” in the Feb. 10 Monitor Weekly. It seems that Estonians are experienced in defending their freedom.

A powerful 2006 film, “The Singing Revolution,” documents the time between 1987 and 1991, when tens of thousands of Estonians gathered to sing forbidden patriotic songs. It was their chosen method to free themselves from Russian occupation, and “The Singing Revolution” is a hugely inspirational film. 

As always, the Monitor shines the light on the best in human endeavors.

Lynn Roy
Boston

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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.