Re “The Art of Being Mindful” [Feb. 3]: The article couldn’t be more apposite. Our lives have evolved to be more intertwined with technology, and while that allows more to be achieved, it erodes our sense of concentration and focus. Striking a balance has always been at the very heart of nature, and we as humans must not be left out. We must learn to take some time out to exercise meditation, which brings soothing relief in an ever demanding world. Thanks, Kate Pickert.
Apologies, but I nearly laughed out loud reading of the naiveté of the overly stressed plunking down $350 to learn how to ignore emails and messages, taste while eating, enjoy a train ride, exercise and observe in parks, talk to dining companions and wear a watch. Those needlessly addicted to technology should literally wake up and smell the roses. Seriously.
It was quite astonishing to know of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction centers sprouting in America and some other places. The practice of mindfulness is not a new technique; it has been practiced since the time of the Buddha. The goal of practicing mindfulness is to have an enlightenment of seeing the truth of nature — the stress relief and peacefulness are the by-products of the practice.
The Rise of New Racism
Re “The Superiority Complex” [Feb. 3]: It is always useful to be careful with what the author calls new racism — the supposed cultural superiority of various model minorities. As usual, it belongs to the fear of what is different, namely each foreigner seen as an enemy. For instance, in Italy we face illicit landings in Lampedusa and their consequent humanitarian tragedy. Surely our laws have to control national borders, but we should also receive people just looking for a better future. Welcoming people, respecting one another’s cultural values and recognizing any difference as a value in itself could be the challenge of this century.
As a South African, I find Suketu Mehta’s article an inspiring one. The many good things that are happening in our country (which we seldom read or hear in the media) all confirm his balanced views with regard to multicultural societies. It is time for these societies to embrace their multiculturalism rather than see it as a divisive problem.
Still Bay, South Africa
Life in Refuge
Re “No Home in Sight” [Feb. 3]: Congratulations to TIME for its evocative article on the lives of Syrian refugees. The article, and particularly the excellent photography, gives a down-to-earth insight into the daily lives of the displaced people living in the Za’atari camp and shows the human cost of the terrible conflict currently raging in Syria.
A Broken System
Re “Four Presidents and a Rumor Mill” [Feb. 3]: While interesting, Howard Chua-Eoan’s Essay was significantly incomplete. It is true, the Philippines has a “seriously debilitated political system,” and this is the unfortunate result of two simple but powerful reasons. First, the political clans and wealthy families across the country control business and politics. The second reason for our current political imbroglio is the power and influence wielded by a highly politicized church. The Philippines’ justice system is even more debilitated than its political system.
Jesus Joaquin M. Mañago,
San Juan, The Philippines
Death of a Legend
Re Milestones [Feb. 3]: The single-sentence obituary of Suchitra Sen, the legendary Indian actress, does little justice to her immensely valuable contribution to the film industry. Undoubtedly, she was a paragon of beauty and grace. Physical charm apart, her performance in film was superb. Sen’s death is a great loss that is irreparable.
Pankaj Kumar Mandal,
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