Special Features

First Responders

Published

Photo illustration by Jackson Carson via Flickr

The brave men and women who serve as police officers, firefighters, EMTs and emergency room personnel help us at some of our most vulnerable moments. Their experiences can inspire a deep reflection on life that leads them to some compelling beliefs. Click the links below to explore what these first responders believe about their work.

  1. The Passion to Volunteer
  2. More Than a Job
  3. Connecting with My Patients
  4. Doing Something with My Life
  5. To Be the Best Humans We Can Be

Voices for Civil Rights

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National Archives photo

A number of prominent African-Americans were featured on Edward R. Murrow’s original This I Believe radio series. Their words helped build momentum for the civil rights movement in the years leading up to the Montgomery bus boycott, lunch-counter sit-ins and the march on Washington. Click the links below to hear their inspiring words.

  1. All or Nothing
  2. The Birthright of Human Dignity
  3. Looking at Life Through Another’s Eyes
  4. God Is the Father of All Men
  5. Free Minds and Hearts at Work
  6. The Courage to Change the Things I Can

At the Diner

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Photo courtesy lert via flickr

Whether a true historically fabricated diner, or just a down-home restaurant that serves pie and coffee at the counter, the diner is a place where people take a break from daily life and find a bit of humanity. So order a stack of pancakes and a cup of coffee—and enjoy these beliefs inspired by gathering at the diner.

  1. Peace Begins With One Person
  2. At Moni’s Grill
  3. Making It Up as I Go Along
  4. Do Talk to Strangers
  5. Remembering the Past at Waffle House

Gratitude

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Photo by shannonkringen via flickr

Several cultures around the world celebrate festivals or holidays to observe the act of being thankful. Historically, people gave thanks for a bountiful harvest, but today, many individuals consider it important to express appreciation for what one has on a daily basis. As we head into a new year, click the links below to learn how others have cultivated lifelong beliefs from the emotions of gratitude, thankfulness, and gratefulness.

  1. Happy With What I Have
  2. The Act of Giving Thanks
  3. Paying Attention to the Silver Lining
  4. The Learning Curve of Gratitude
  5. Saying Thank You

Happy With What I Have

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Photo by Brittany Randolph via Flickr

What makes you happy? Is it the attainment of the latest gadgets or a new, bigger car? How about getting a raise at work or winning the lottery? Does money really make us happy? Click the links below to read how these essayists feel about finding happiness with what they have.

  1. Creating Our Own Happiness
  2. Happy Talk
  3. Make It Do
  4. Just Say No
  5. Happy With What I Have

Faith and Life

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Photo illustration by Khalil Shah via Flickr

As with any faith tradition, it can sometimes be a challenge for Muslims to balance one’s religious practices with one’s beliefs and the obligations of daily life. Click the links below to learn how these Muslims integrate their spiritual and secular lives.

  1. We Are Each Other’s Business
  2. Celebrating Our Dreams and Flaws
  3. The Test of Life
  4. My Pride, Their Prejudice
  5. Ingredients to a Richer Personality
  6. The Right to Be Fully American

The Middle Ground

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Photo illustration by Jasmic via Flickr

Whether it’s good versus evil, us against them, left versus right, paper or plastic, regular or decaf, we seem to live in an age that values polarization. But whatever happened to the good old middle ground, the place where diverse people can come together in a sense of unity? Click the links below to read how these essayists believe some middle ground can still be found.

  1. The Tense Middle
  2. The Value of the Middle
  3. Finding One’s Own Middle Ground
  4. The 50-Percent Theory of Life
  5. In Praise of the ‘Wobblies’

Hope for the Future

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Photo illustration by singhajaykr25 via morgueFile.com

Hope is a commodity that many find in short supply. We can hope for things grand or mundane, but all hope embodies a faith and optimism that good can come to the world. Click the links below to read the hopes of these essayists.

  1. Hope Sustains Me
  2. Tomorrow Will Be a Better Day
  3. Recovering the Hope of Children
  4. Hope Has Amazing Energy
  5. The 50-Percent Theory of Life

A Walk in the Woods

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Photo by Robert Rossel via Flickr

As fall is around the corner with cooler days and turning leaves, it’s a perfect time for a hike among the trees. Whether for pleasure, exercise, or solitude, a walk in the woods can also inspire belief. Click the links below to learn what our essayists discovered out in nature.

  1. Forty Acres Of Freedom
  2. Living Life With ‘Grace And Elegant Treeness’
  3. To Disappear Into The Woods
  4. Walking With Trees
  5. Fully Immersing Ourselves In Nature

A Look into the Cosmos

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NASA/JPL image

As the spacecraft rover Curiosity sends us new photos of Mars, humanity is pondering the nature of life and the origins of the universe. By making a study of the heavens, these essayists also found inspiration for their beliefs. Click the links below to learn what they discovered.

  1. Science Nourishes the Mind and the Soul
  2. An Ideal of Service to Our Fellow Man
  3. We Are All Stardust
  4. Why Are We Here?
  5. The Power of Mysteries