Thousandfold swelling of spirit

If there was any fear among the 30,000 runners packed together at the starting line of the Broad Street Run, I didn't sense it. Instead, I felt a solidarity. It was emotional, since you couldn't help but think of Boston. And while Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" played, and we inched our way closer to the start with a sense of oneness, our passion and pride rose. This was a moment of love triumphing once again.

Jeffrey Held, Honeybrook

To listen, and mother, well

As a stepparent, I have benefited from observing my wife's wonderful, parenting style without the usual biological entanglements - and it has been a learning experience. She listens and validates. She does not attempt to take over conversations and make them about her. She understands the concept of boundaries and space. She focuses on questions rather than answers. While she compliments me on how much I know, relationships are less about knowledge and more about feelings - and in this respect, I am her student. So here's to all those mothers who don't confuse what is best for them and what is best for their children; who encourage children to express their feelings; and who understand that children do not learn from a parent's experience, but only from their own.

Peter Jacobus, Wynnewood

Sense of well-being in doing good

The recent one-year anniversary of Walmart's newest location in Philadelphia along Aramingo Avenue was a proud milestone for me as store manager, but also for 250 associates who helped build our store from the ground up ("Phila. Salvation Army gets $100,000 donation," May 5).

These associates are growing with our company, and many, just as I did, are taking advantage of the career opportunities before them. I started as an overnight stocker - struggling to speak English well, and trying to learn American culture. As a manager for five years, I encourage associates to think big, because my career path isn't unique.

Walmart just announced $19.7 million in giving to Pennsylvania charities last year, many of which were organizations that our associates supported in some way. Knowing that our work is making a difference in our community is part of what brings me to work each day.

Bhupit "Bubba" Bohra, manager, Aramingo Avenue Walmart, Philadelphia

Long-term energy focus now

One stark, unavoidable truth trumps all when it comes to our energy future: The world will run out of fossil fuels. Neither oil (and, therefore, gasoline) nor coal nor natural gas can be replenished once gone. Our economy and way of life depend heavily upon these resources; most energy needed to power vehicles and heat buildings comes from these fuels, as does a significant portion of electricity. At 61, I doubt that a noticeable shortage of these fuels will occur in my lifetime. But what about my children, my grandchildren, and their children and grandchildren? We must leave them a better energy legacy than this.

Rick Bailey, Newark

Returning the favor with Cuba

To its credit, earlier this year Cuba ended its detested exit permit ("Castro's niece wins award for gay rights," May 5). Cubans may now travel freely to any country that grants them a visa and remain abroad for nearly two years. The United States could reciprocate by ending its outdated license to travel to Cuba. President Obama recently was urged to address this issue in a letter from Rep. Sam Farr (D., Calif.), cosigned by 59 House colleagues, including Chaka Fattah.

John Dowlin, Philadelphia

Peter Nero's lasting strains

The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Peter Nero are true Philadelphia treasures, but one won't be around forever. Today's final performance by Nero and the Philly Pops offers the chance for anyone lucky enough to be at a Pops concert to grasp how much Nero will be missed. With the baton, he brought out the best, and he was pure magic at the piano. What luck to have had this man call Philadelphia home for the last 34 years.

Dennis Kulchinsky, Prospect Park