Readers write: Informational comics, George Shultz, and more

Letters to the editor for the May 25, 2020 weekly magazine. Readers discuss alternative cattle ranching, comics with important lessons, and more.

Staff

Art references

Regarding the comic “Thank goodness it’s Thursday” by Eoin O’Carroll and Jacob Turcotte in the March 2 Monitor Weekly: An absolute delight! I caught the visual references to the works of Leonardo da Vinci and Georges Seurat as I learned something about productive working hours. I would love to see more of this combination of information and art. Thank you, thank you.

Cynthia Howland
Brunswick, Maine

Informational comics

Thank you for the charming comic “Thank goodness it’s Thursday.” What an entertaining way to read about an idea! The drawings are priceless, and the text is informative. I hope we’ll see more!

Jennifer Quinn
Gate City, Virginia

Livestock rotation

Thank you for “Saving the Amazon” in the March 30 Monitor Weekly. As a rancher in Wyoming who has participated in rotational grazing practices, I can only say that this is perhaps the most important alteration in agriculture across the world. 

Influential ecologist and livestock farmer Allan Savory altered his view about the importance of domestic animals in the ecosystem. But unfortunately, there are many environmentalists who fail to recognize that while human beings have contributed to environmental problems, they are also the ones who can impact it for good.

Animals do what they do. Wild ones that are out of control because they can’t be managed have detrimental effects on the land as much as domesticated ones do. Good management of areas where cattle, sheep, and horses live and thrive can often make the entire landscape more habitable for wildlife as well.

Once again – thank you for this article about Brazil. More could be written about this issue as it pertains to the American West and the sustainable agricultural practices here.

Margaret Smith
Buffalo, Wyoming

Coronavirus content

I loved the cover story “Saving the Amazon.” It was so encouraging and enlightening. And, while we’re “talking,” I’ll add that my husband, upon seeing the cover of the March 23 Monitor Weekly (“Keeping students in class instead of in court”), exclaimed, “It’s so nice to see news not about the coronavirus!”

Jennifer Brothers Maxwell
Santa Clara, California

George Shultz’s legacy

Thank you for your cover story “The world according to George Shultz” in the March 9 Monitor Weekly. Mr. Shultz was undoubtedly the best secretary of state for whom I ever worked – not excluding Henry Kissinger, with his superior grasp of history – because of the moral and ethical dimensions that Mr. Shultz insisted on and modeled.

With his massive dignity and calm, commitment to service, and faith in what can be accomplished through respect for others, Mr. Shultz inspired in those who worked for him a desire to emulate as best we could his unshakable honesty, integrity, and honor. 

Keith McCormick
Vienna, Virginia

Fixing schools

Regarding “How online learning may be more than a stopgap in the US” in the April 20 Monitor Weekly: Excellent article. As a grandmother of five, I see how school has failed, or is currently failing, three of my grandchildren. I think it’s time to shake things up in the school system. It was pretty sad when I was a kid, and it’s gotten worse. We have the technology. Why not use it to “grow” our kids?

Michelle Staples
Oshawa, Ontario

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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.