I believe in public radio. I believe in its power to inspire me in the following ways:
The unflagging professionalism of the organization and individuals who bring me the news and information I’ve come to depend on daily since 1991.
Though it would be at least a decade before my full indoctrination as a listener/member was complete, intriguing snippets about KCRW would catch my eye reading the LA Times.
That occurred years later living and working in the politically charged city of my state capitol. I had no time for the paper and TV news was full of vacuous no-nothings so morphing into an NPR junkie was one of the simplest things I ever did.
In public radio I found a voice for my ideologies and beliefs systems as well as a daily teaching tool. I recall the pride I felt when I realized who Butros Butros Gali and Alia Izabegovic were and what their place in the world meant.
Like many NPR junkies, the voices that inform my day have become quasi-heroes to me. I’ve attended speaking events at my local university for some, and had the pleasure of meeting a few of them–gracious individuals whom I’d happily invite to my Fantasy Dinner Party.
My charitable giving was established at the second Pledge Drive I ever heard all those years ago; indeed, when I made the decision to become a Sustaining Member at my current station, KHSU, it was tantamount to having my Revocable Trust drawn up!
I recall the first Driveway Moment in my dark garage listening to a compelling piece on Indian truck drivers bringing the dreaded HIV to their villages…
In the first months of this vile war, I felt tremendous admiration mingled with fear listening to Ann Garrels report in hushed tones from a sat phone at the Palestine Hotel. I wondered if I could ever be that brave and selfless.
I empathize with my NPR heroes when I detect a stuffy nose or listen as they flub a word or two.
My parental pride knew no bounds the day I realized my teenage son woke up to NPR on his alarm clock and programmed in his car radio. I often thought NPR should be piped in the school PA system.
Once, on a slow day at work my temptation bested me–I viewed NPR staff photos online. Me, a confirmed Techlexic!
When I moved to my community several years ago, it wasn’t a church home or dry cleaners I was after, it was the public radio station I most wanted to locate. While I’m not yet seasoned emough to pitch on air during KHSU’s Spring and Fall Pledge Drives, I faithfully donate time to volunteer at the phones, always meeting new people with an interesting spin on our world, local and global.
Listening avidly to the weekly This I Believe essays, it occurred to me that in this space and time, public radio holds a key to the things I hold dear: Integrity, Honor, Truth and Information.
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