Special Features

The Wisdom of Our Elders

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Photo illustration by Merlijn Hoek via Flickr

Whether it’s a grandparent or neighbor, we have all learned to respect our elders. But do we listen to them and learn from their years of experience? To honor those seniors who inspire us and shape us, we present this selection of This I Believe essays. In their words and voices, you’ll hear the thoughtful wisdom that comes from living a long and fruitful life.

  1. Good Can Be as Communicable as Evil
  2. Community in Action
  3. Living Life With ‘Grace And Elegant Treeness’
  4. A Shared Moment of Trust
  5. Life Is a Child of Immortality
  6. Growth That Starts from Thinking

Snow

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Photo courtesy Wendkuni via Flickr

The poet James Russell Lowell said snow covers the land with “a silence deep and white.” In that silence comes time for reflection about all manner of things in life, including belief. Click the links below to learn what these essayists learned during the wonder of a snowfall.

  1. The Hardest Work You Will Ever Do
  2. Never Give Up on Macaroni and Snowflakes
  3. An Appreciation of Life
  4. Winter Brings Joy, Hope, and Strength
  5. Snow Days

Random Acts of Kindness

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Photo by Darinka Maja via Flickr

This week, many people are celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Week by doing good deeds or cheering up a stranger with a small act of kindness. Whether spontaneous or planned, acts of kindness can be contagious and set off chain reactions of more people being kind to one another. We hope these essays on kindness might spark small random acts of kindness from you.

  1. The Kindnesses We Give Each Other
  2. The Connection Between Strangers
  3. A Conduit of the Divine
  4. Good Can Be as Communicable as Evil
  5. Umbrella Moments

The Love We Choose

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Photo by Pietro Brugnera via Flickr

With Valentine’s Day approaching, pink and red flowers, cards, and candy are being sold in the name of love. As we consider all of the valentines in our lives—sweethearts, family, and even pets—this week, we are featuring a selection of essays from our book, This I Believe: On Love, that illustrate stories of the love we choose.

  1. The Love I Choose
  2. Deciding to Love Her
  3. Love from Head to Toe
  4. Love on Four Feet
  5. A Walk in the Woods Together
  6. The Friend Who Makes Me Complete

Finding Strength After Setbacks

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Photo credit: Ray_from_LA via Flickr

It was Longfellow who said “Into each life some rain must fall.” But sometimes we must endure more than just one bad day; there are true setbacks and obstacles that block our life’s path. The following essayists have found that sometimes significant challenges turn out to be opportunities in disguise.

  1. My Grandmother’s Dicho
  2. Feeding a Hunger
  3. The Strange Blessing That Brought Me Home
  4. Joy Cometh in the Morning
  5. My Father Told Me I Was Fat

Taking Inspiration from Dr. King

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U.S. News & World Report Collection at the Library of Congress

As the U.S. marks the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we offer a sampling of statements from essayists who were influenced by King’s work and words—both by people who witnessed his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, to those who were simply inspired by it.

  1. The Power of Words
  2. Finding New Pride In America
  3. Dr. King’s Dream
  4. This Is Our Mountaintop

Family

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Photo illustration by Robin Hutton via Flickr

“Family” is a great concept, but in practice it doesn’t always work in the picture-perfect version we idealize. Many times, we find that families are defined by more than blood, culture, or circumstance. Click the links below to read how these essayists built their beliefs in family.

  1. My Family Tree
  2. A Duty to Family, Heritage, and Country
  3. The People Who Love You When No One Else Will
  4. Love Lives through Them All
  5. Dad’s Legacy

The Power of Change

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Photo illustration by D'Arcy Norman via Flickr

Have you made any resolutions? The coming of a new year often inspires people to make changes in their lives. Trying something new can be fun, exciting or daunting, and for these essayists, change even brought them something new in which to believe.

  1. The Choice to Do It Over Again
  2. Embracing the Unknown
  3. Returning to What’s Natural
  4. To Embrace Change
  5. The Light at the End of the Tunnel

2014 in Review

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Another year has passed, and we all find ourselves reflecting on the previous year. At This I Believe, we have featured some beautiful personal stories about the beliefs that guide our lives. Click on the links below to revisit some of the most memorable essays from 2014.

  1. The Way of Silence
  2. Fry Bread
  3. Treating Everyone As Family
  4. Touching the Divine
  5. A Life in Literature
  6. The Noise of the Village

Reflections on Giving

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Photo by Laura Taylor via Flickr

We can give with our money, we can give of our time, we can give with a smile and an open heart. In this season of giving, our essayists offer their beliefs on the importance of connecting and sharing with each other. Happy holidays from This I Believe.

  1. In Giving I Connect With Others
  2. Here Comes (the Real) Santa Claus
  3. All The Joy The World Contains
  4. Why I Close My Restaurant
  5. The Designated Celebrator