Skip Navigation

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

A Service Ethic for Teens
Thank you to Freya Sonenstein for “The Kids Are Alright” [Spring 2010]. As adults and in society in general we underestimate the potential of youth to make big decisions about their lives and what they want to do.  We can do much to help youth understand their potential and to encourage them to find their purpose in life and to set bold goals early on.

[Perhaps] a service ethic is the most appropriate goal to which teens can be encouraged to aspire as this resonates, appeals to and develops the teens’ innate helpful nature.  The service ethic is also a context that can guide their future life, studies and eventual work choices.  Youth can make the choice that their purpose in life is to help make the world a better place.

However such ideals and action don’t come naturally in today’s society, as they are opposed to the increasingly ubiquitous worldview that as human beings we are “utility maximizing” and should seek happiness from material sources. A service ethic has to be nurtured, and materialistic tendencies have to be put into perspective for young minds.

My point is that the teenage years don’t have to be that messy. With the right atmosphere and training they can be beautiful instead.

Shahbaz Fawbush, MD
Antananarivo, Madagascar

Public Health Diplomacy
I absolutely agree with Dr. [Peter] Agre regarding his point on the benefit of science on diplomacy [“Science Diplomacy,” Spring 2010]. However, just one small wish is that the School participate in this endeavor in the area of public health as well. North Korea is a country with an abundance of public health problems ranging from malaria and tuberculosis to general health system issues. I believe that “public health diplomacy” would be possible, and I hope to see the School explore this opportunity.

Hoon Sang Lee, MD, MPH ’10
Seoul, South Korea

Help for Older Eyes
I want to suggest that you use fonts that can be read by those of us over the age of 39. The content of the magazine seems to be getting better every year—now please let me read it!

Robert Melton, MD, MPH ’71
Carmel Valley, California

Editor’s Note: Thanks for opening our eyes. We have slightly increased the point size for our main body copy.

Easy on the Eyes
Top notch issue. The graphics and colors are excellent and supplement the clear and concise explanations. All that I expect from the Bloomberg School.

Bob Kambic, MSH, GTL
Baltimore, Maryland

Subscribe to the magazine for free at:


This forum is closed

Read about our policy on comments to magazine articles.

design element
Online Extras

Listen Now

Worth Its Salt

Dean Michael J. Klag examines prospects for lowering Americans’ blood pressure via salt reduction and other efforts.

Listen Now

Talk to Us

Amazed? Enthralled? Disappointed? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts on articles and your ideas for new stories:

Download the PDF

Get a copy of all Departments articles in PDF format. Read stories offline, optimized for printing.

Download Now (2.9MB)