Special Features

Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Love


Photo credit: Ethan Schwartz via Flickr

In Philadelphia, an idea was born more than sixty years ago, and it still endures today. At a local Philadelphia radio station in the early 1950s, the idea for This I Believe was born. The international project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing their core values has its roots in a place that values optimism, community, and the brotherhood of man. Click the links below to learn the beliefs of these Philadelphians.

  1. All Men Are My Brothers
  2. Love Without Requirement
  3. A New Control of Destiny
  4. I Believe in Philadelphia
  5. Culture, Practice, and Transformation

Tolerance and Acceptance


Photo illustration by Frerieke via Flickr

The French writer Voltaire called tolerance a “consequence of humanity” and the first law of nature. Yet some of us practice it more successfully than others. Click the links below to read how these essayists seek to exercise true tolerance and acceptance in their lives.

  1. Learning True Tolerance
  2. Only One Tribe
  3. An Invitation to Dialogue
  4. Words of the Living God
  5. One Person a Day

The Immigrant Experience


Photo illustration by Greg Westfall via Flickr

In the heated debates over political policy, it’s easy to forget that America is largely a nation of immigrants. For those who came to this country from distant lands generations ago, to the recently naturalized citizen, the American dream is a powerful draw for people around the world. Click the links below to learn the beliefs that immigration has inspired in these essayists.

  1. My American Dream
  2. A New Beginning
  3. The Right to Be Fully American
  4. An Act Of Faith In America
  5. My Journey into the American Dream
  6. The America I Believe In

Defining Family


Photo courtesy tiffany terry via Flickr

Many a poet has written that blood is thicker than water. But today, blood and DNA do not necessarily define a family. The following essayists agree with Maya Angelou, who said “family isn’t always blood . . . it’s the ones who love you no matter what.”

  1. My Family Tree
  2. The People Who Love You When No One Else Will
  3. Making Family a Verb
  4. The Blessings of Step
  5. Simple Love Fosters a Family

Hard Work


Photo by C. Frank Starmer

Hard work can result in the completion of assigned tasks, a steady paycheck, a way to fill time or the simple satisfaction of a job well done. And like many other things in life, work can inspire belief. In honor of Labor Day, click the links below to learn what these essayists believe about their work.

  1. Work Is A Blessing
  2. Leaving Work to Gaze at Sunsets
  3. Living What You Do Every Day
  4. Do What You Love
  5. A Goal Of Service To Humankind

Our Brother’s Keeper


Photo illustration by Pedro Ribeiro Simões via Flickr

Many of the world’s religions teach the importance of caring for each other, whether it’s tending to a close family member or showing compassion for a complete stranger. Click the links below to read how these essayists explore the simple acts of kindness that can enrich our own humanity.

  1. A Calling We Should Heed
  2. Being My Brother’s Keeper
  3. Only A Little Less Than Angels
  4. A Journey Across America
  5. Kindness Equals Survival



Photo by Joe Dyer via Flickr

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Water understands civilization well,” but how well do we understand water? Until we travel to other parts of the world or experience a drought or water main break, we tend to take water for granted. Take a moment to appreciate the importance of water by reading the thoughts of these essayists.

  1. The Last Drop of Water
  2. Navigating Turbulent Waters
  3. A Delicate Balance
  4. With Brown Shoes to Match
  5. A Drop in the Bucket

What’s in a Hug?


Photo by lostintheredwoods via Flickr

When we share a hug with another person, we may not think about just how much it means. More than a quick handshake or saying “hello,” a hug conveys affection, acceptance, or empathy without saying a word. Click the links below to read how these essayists feel about the meaning behind a hug.

  1. A Healing Hug
  2. Hug It Out
  3. Grace Is a Gift
  4. First Friend
  5. The Power of Holding On



Photo by craigallyn via Flickr

When is the last time you laughed? Really laughed? Were you watching a funny movie or listening to a great joke? Sometimes a good laugh comes during times of happiness and light, and sometimes it is most welcome during dark times. Read the essays below to find how these people discovered a belief in laughter.

  1. Follow the Laughter
  2. Life Is Wonderfully Ridiculous
  3. A Personalized Laugh Track
  4. Find a Reason to Laugh
  5. The Many Gifts of Laughter



Photo by Peter Roome via Flickr

The long, lazy days of summer are a paradise for the young and the young at heart. From hanging out with friends, to summer jobs, to summer camp, it’s a time to explore, have fun, and maybe create a little mischief. Click the links below to read what these teens (and a few adults recalling their youth) think about the magic of summer.

  1. The Endless Possibilities of Summer
  2. An Escape from Normal Life
  3. Going Barefoot
  4. Summer Camp
  5. The Constant Gold of Summer