Readers' Forum

Dr. Seuss' Wisdom
I'm so swamped I decided I had to cut down on the 40-plus magazines I try to skim every month. But then I read your summer issue and decided to order extra copies of it so I can give it away to others.
Pete Seeger
Beacon, New York
P.S. I especially like the short pieces. As Dr. Seuss said, “If you want your words to carry great strength, write them with shorth.  Shorth is better than length.”

Population Is a Crisis
Pramila Jayapal's “The Mother of Exiles” (Summer 2004) does not address the main reason most Americans are against immigration, both legal and illegal. In the words of Worldwatch Institute, “Sitting quietly in the corner is an 800-pound gorilla. Its name: Population.”
Val Don Hickerson
Bandon, Oregon

Brit Tzedek Grows
In “Jewish Group Issues Call to Bring Settlers Home” (YES!, Winter 2004), Janis Siegel wrote that in 2003,  8,500 American Jews had signed the petition initiated by Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, “crossing all ranks and denominations ... from Reform and Orthodox Jews alike.” 

I assure readers that the spectrum of American Jews, including those who signed the petition, is much broader.  Reconstructionism is Judaism's fourth largest denomination.  Others belong to a movement called Jewish Renewal.  Still others, like me, belong to groups that practice secular, humanistic (some call it “cultural”) Judaism.  The descriptors don't end there.

Ten thousand signatures on that petition were presented to Bush and Sharon at their spring 2004 meeting in Washington.
Bob Jacobson
Baltimore, Maryland

More on the Good Life
Achieving the good life means knowing myself well enough to know what nurtures me and what does not. I need to know what I am really hungry for. What do I need in order to feel content with who I am and what I do? For me the list has come to look, in part, like this:
First, faith that the good life is available to me.
A piece of earth where I can plant, get my hands dirty, and watch seasons evolve.
Work that helps others and challenges my potential, and sufficient influx of information so that I am always learning, seeing from a new perspective, and making connections.
Living space large enough to allow me to function in my day-to-day life, but small enough to encourage recycling and letting go.
A small handful of intimate  (human) friends and some animal friends making demands on me (and entertaining me), thus forcing me out of self-absorption.
Enough cash flow so I can treat myself (and knowing what treats really nourish me) and am able to support others by buying the nourishing/beautiful things they have created.
Finally, living so my actions are in alignment with my principles, a connection with my past, and a belief that I am making a difference.
Rebecca Adler
Oceano, California

YES! and the Film Connection
In the Summer 2004 issue, The Film Connection teamed up with YES! to offer readers films—Affluenza, City Farmers, and Livable Landscapes—related to the YES! theme of the good life.  We also encouraged readers to form film groups of friends and family to watch great film, and then enjoy an evening of conversation about the good life.
It turned out to be an exciting venture with YES!  Readers across 14 states formed film groups and hosted film evenings and discussions with friends and family. YES! film groups have come back to The Film Connection many more times to check out other titles from our film library, including Enlightenment Guaranteed, Men with Brooms, The Fast Runner, and more.
Jennifer Clapper, Film Curator
The Film Connection
Editors' note: The partnership continues.  See home page for current suggestions.

Stay Positive
It pleases me to see a group of people who at least on the surface are not absolutely depressed out of their minds over the direction in which we are currently being led.  Stay strong!
Bill Habel
Salt Lake City, Utah
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