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Don Chapman

Letters To The Editor

Japan’s gift

“What is Japan going to do for us?” asked a recent Midweek letter, with the foreboding of the tsunami debris drifting closer to our pristine and sunny shores.

The people of Japan had no control over what came to them – a triple disaster of unimagined destruction, 9.0 earthquake, tsunami and radioactive wipeout. They reacted magnificently, as we all saw, thanks to our media. With almost nothing left – having lost possessions, loved ones, even basic food – they pressed on under unending and unbearable circumstances. And lest we forget: no looting (two words that said everything to me.) Watching on TV from my ivory tower here, it saddened me that I could only send money.

The people of Japan likewise have no control over what may come to us. Let us follow their example: If debris comes our way, may we clean it up quietly, no whining, and then go home to a warm supper, and sleep without our home shaking. And remember those people, still repairing their damaged lives, with respect and dignity.

That’s what Japan did for us.

Ruth Freedman
Honolulu

Voltairesque

Reading editor Don Chapman’s column “Courage Of Convictions,” regarding his efforts to publish a letter in support of a column with which he personally disagreed, I was reminded of the quote attributed to Voltaire: “I may not agree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.” In fact, that line comes from one of his biographers. What Voltaire actually said on the subject is even more succinct: “Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.”

If more people had Mr. Chapman’s Voltairesque attitude, surely this would be a more civil country today. No wonder MidWeek is so respected in our community.

Richard Walker
Nuuanu

Turn off gadgets

Thank you for publishing Ariana Huffington’s column “Connecting By Disconnecting.”

I sort of knew that I spend too much time attached (at the hip) to my various electronic devices, but the multiple examples offered by Ms. Huffington showing we’re better off turning the darn things off for a while each day really hit home.

Mona Freitas
Honolulu

Good advice

Kudos to MidWeek for adding David Chang’s financial advice column to the lineup. As newlyweds, finances are tight, but my husband and I are trying to take Mr. Chang’s tips to heart for the sake of our future together and one day that of our children.

Karen K. Ryan
Honolulu

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