7 things Americans can be grateful for on Thanksgiving

Despite being a tough year in some ways, there have also been numerous points of progress.

6. The US created the world’s second-largest protected marine area

Wyland/NOAA via AP
In this Jan. 7, 2012 photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a shark swims off the coast of Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Midway, now home to the largest colony of Laysan albatrosses on Earth, is on the northern edge of the recently expanded Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, now the world's biggest oceanic preserve.

In 2006, President George W. Bush created the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii, a 140,000 square mile sanctuary intended to protect the area’s 7,000 marine species, a quarter of which are only found in the Hawaiian Archipelago. And this year, President Obama expanded the underwater reserve by 442,781 square miles. With its expansion, Papahanaumokuakea is now one of the world’s largest marine reserves, second only to the Ross Sea, a protected zone of the Antarctic Ocean.

Along with his expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Monument, Mr. Obama designated the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, a 4,913 square mile protected area off the East Coast and the first marine reserve in the Atlantic Ocean.

6 of 7

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.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.