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#275: Some Thoughts On Mercy

The Highlighter
This isn’t the first time that a disturbing, devastating event has immediately preceded an issue of The Highlighter. Yesterday’s storming of the Capitol was one just example of several in this newsletter’s six-year history. I remember the massacre at Pulse night club in Orlando, the 2016 Election, the mass shooting in Las Vegas, and of course, the murder of George Floyd. Every time, I search late into the night for an article that might offer perspective. They never seem to exist — that is to say, not until many weeks later, when we’ve had time to process what’s happened. In time, I’ll be sure to find them and share them with you. But this morning, as I think about what to write here, I’m reminded that we may feel a range of emotions about yesterday’s events. But one that no longer fits right, that doesn’t make sense, is “shocked.” What happened yesterday wasn’t unpredictable; it didn’t come out of nowhere. After all, as historian Heather Cox Richardson wrote, “Today the Confederate flag flew in the United States Capitol.”
Before launching into today’s issue, which features outstanding articles on the possibilities of mercy and reconciliation, the benefits of gift economies, the contributions of Indigenous scholars, and the ravages of COVID-19, I’d like to welcome all of you — and in particular, the bunch of new subscribers — to another year of The Highlighter. I look forward to connecting with you more deeply and building our reading community. More details to come soon!
+ I’m happy to announce that Article Club is back, and this month, we’ll be discussing “Motherland,” by Jiayang Fan. Voted best article of 2020 by Longform, the piece explores the author’s complicated relationship with her mother as she battles ALS. Already, many of you have signed up, and Ms. Fan has generously agreed to an interview (authors always participate!), so if you’re intrigued and want to join, please do! Here’s more information.
+ In case you missed it: Here are your five favorite articles of 2020, the ones you read the most. Go ahead: Organize a reading party with your friends and enjoy them all. (Then tell me about it.)

Some Thoughts On Mercy
Gifts And Gratitude Create Abundance
Yoshi, who belongs to VIP Summer, adorns the cover of this year’s prized Pets of The Highlighter calendar. Get yours today, before it’s too late!
Yoshi, who belongs to VIP Summer, adorns the cover of this year’s prized Pets of The Highlighter calendar. Get yours today, before it’s too late!
The Empire Of All Maladies
The Plague Year
Thank you for reading this week’s issue of The Highlighter. I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you thought about today’s issue by hitting reply or by clicking on the thumbs below.
Also, let’s welcome our reading community’s 12 new subscribers, including Matt, Jackie, Katarina, Nina, Cassandra, Angela, Leah, Stephanie, Kayla, Joe, and Gretchen. I hope that you find the newsletter a solid addition to your email inbox.
If you like The Highlighter, please help it grow. I appreciate your support. Here are a few ways you can help:
On the other hand, if you’re Marie Kondo-ing your inbox and this newsletter no longer brings you joy, please unsubscribe. See you next Thursday at 9:10 am PT!
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Mark Isero
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Mark Isero
Mark Isero @iserotope

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