I’ve been listening to This I Believe since the series began. Though inspired each time I hear one of the essays read on the radio, and invited to submit at the end of each broadcast, I have never come up with an idea for what I might contribute. I believed in many things, each of them eloquently voiced week after week.
Now I see: I believe in the enduring beauty of this world as manifested in the people who have submitted their essays, sharing personal stories of strength and hope and wisdom. They remind me that, in spite of the dark side of humanity, the stories of cruelty and intolerance that can drive me into the depths of despair, we humans are indeed capable of uplifting ourselves, setting our sights above our trials and tragedies to discover new ways to serve, contribute, and find meaning in life.
The essays remind me of the power of the individual to make a difference, however small, and that together the small differences make our world a better place. They have painted a vast canvas in the past four years, each dab of statement or story making its unique contribution to the collective work of art that is this series.
Each story, stripped of details, has boiled down to a common theme—that of selflessly helping others—and each has helped me to see what I believe in most. For this I thank you all.
Susan Marsh is an award-winning writer living in Jackson, Wyoming. She is retired from the U.S. Forest Service, after thirty years as a wild land steward. After growing up in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, she has worked as a geologist, forest manager, and naturalist in wild places throughout the western U.S. Her nonfiction books include Stories of the Wild and The Wild Wyoming Range (coedited with Ron Chilcote). Her novel War Creek is forthcoming from MP Publishing (fall 2013).
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