Special Features

Finding Strength After Setbacks

Published

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

Cashiers, Clerks, and Servers

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Photo by Donna Walker, courtesy Herald Post via Flickr

Tis the season for dashing through the shopping mall to find the perfect gift, and every item you buy brings an interaction with a store employee. Even during the busy holiday season, the cashiers, clerks, and servers hope you’ll give some thought to who they are and what they believe. Click the links below for a sampling.

  1. Now That’s Service
  2. A Transaction Between Fellow Citizens
  3. What I Can Change
  4. A New Work Ethic
  5. Please Return Your Shopping Cart

World War II Veterans

Published

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Div., FSA/OWI Coll.

It was this week 73 years ago, immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, that the United States entered what would later be known as World War II. How did the War and the experiences of combat shape the beliefs of those men who served? Find out in these essays broadcast in Edward R. Murrow’s This I Believe series from the early 1950s.

  1. Guarding the Gift of Freedom, by Lucius D. Clay
  2. All Men Are My Brothers, by James A. Michener
  3. Mankind Is Only a Youngster, by Lloyd Jordan
  4. To Live with Uncertainty, by W. David Curtiss
  5. Avoiding the Extremes of Life, by David J. Levy

A Roadmap for Life

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Whether you think life is a highway, or you prefer the road less taken, maps can help us determine where we are and how to get where we want to go. Click the links below to explore how the beliefs of these essayists have been influenced by maps, both physical and imagined.

  1. There Is Such A Thing As Truth
  2. Right On Red
  3. I Believe In Maps
  4. Lost
  5. God’s Maps

Baking

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Photo illustration by grongar via Flickr

Baking from scratch is a process that demands time and precision, and it’s a task that some people bypass by heading straight for the bakery section of the supermarket. But is there more to baking than the final iced or sliced product? These essayists have found that the process of baking yields more than just something delicious to eat.

  1. Baking by Senses and Memories
  2. Doing Things the Slow Way
  3. Made by Hand
  4. Sharing a Piece of My Life
  5. Making Others Happy

Living Through Poetry

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Photo by Nick Kenrick via Flickr

Poetry can be an expression of love, a processing of grief, or a way to freeze a moment in time. Whether a sonnet, a haiku, or free verse, it is a distillation of language that reveals the very essence of an idea or emotion. We invite you to click the links below to read how these essayists have found their beliefs in poetry.

  1. The Making of Poems
  2. Music and Medicine for the Soul
  3. More Than Just Words
  4. Our Ultimate Inspiration
  5. The Untamed Habitat of Language