This I Believe is an international organization engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives. Over 125,000 of these essays, written by people from all walks of life, have been archived here on our website, heard on public radio, chronicled through our books, and featured in weekly podcasts. The project is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow.

Activist Voices from the Past

width=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. Perhaps their wisdom can be useful today. Click here to hear their inspiring words.

A Goal of Service to Humankind

width=Before Dr. Anthony Fauci was tasked with overseeing the country’s response to COVID-19, he was the nation’s point-person for HIV-AIDS. His work as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is fueled by his belief in personal responsibility to humankind.  Click here to read his essay.

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Always Go to the Funeral

width=As a child Deirdre Sullivan’s father told her to always pay her respects at funerals. Now, the Brooklyn attorney believes those simple acts of human kindness are as important as the grand heroic gestures. Click here to read her essay.

I Am Still “The Greatest”

width=To be “The Greatest of All Time,” boxing legend Muhammad Ali said you have to believe in yourself. It’s something Ali’s parents taught him as a child, and it helped him through the biggest challenge of his life: fighting Parkinson’s disease. Click here to read his essay.

Be Cool to the Pizza Dude

width=We know them. We depend on them. We call them out on cold, rainy nights. Now, college professor Sarah Adams tells us why her life philosophy is built around being cool to the pizza delivery dude. Click here to read her essay.

Do What You Love

width=Tony Hawk has turned what many consider a childhood activity into a professional career. Now for Hawk, skateboarding is not only a job, it’s a means of expression and a foundation for personal belief.Click here to read his essay.

There Is No God

width=As half of the magic act Penn and Teller, Penn Jillette enjoys challenging his audiences with the unconventional. In stating his personal credo, Jillette finds liberation in believing there is no God. Click here to read his essay.

Black Is Beautiful

width=What’s in a name? For writer and teacher Sufiya Abdur-Rahman it’s key to her identity as the proud daughter of Muslim parents. Like the 1960s movement, Abdur-Rahman believes black is beautiful and not a condition she should have to rise above.Click here to read her essay.

An Ideal of Service to Our Fellow Man

width=Nobel Prize-winning physicist Albert Einstein found beauty in life’s mysteries, and says the fate of mankind depends on individuals choosing public service over private gain. Click here to read his essay.

Finding a Good Frog

width=Delia Motavalli has grown up watching movies about fairy tales and princesses. But after she received a piece of advice from her mother, Delia has come to realize her own definition of “happily ever after.” Click here to read her essay.

Being Content with Myself

width=Massachusetts teenager Kamaal Majeed believes being content with himself and defining his own life are more important than adhering to any racial stereotypes that his peers may try to force upon him.Click here to read his essay.

What Students Believe

width=Throughout the school year, young people around the world write statements of belief as a classroom exercise. And thousands of those students have submitted their essays to our series. Click here to read a sampling of what young people believe.



Life Lessons Learned from Strangers

width=As children, we’re taught to be wary of strangers. But random encounters with people we don’t know can lead to surprising insights about others and opportunities to learn more about ourselves. Click here to read this selection of essays about life lessons learned from strangers.



Saying Goodbye

width=Sometimes a goodbye is a casual comment to a colleague we’ll see tomorrow. Other times we say farewell to a loved one we’ll never see again. The moments of transition that we mark with a see you soon, a goodbye, or a farewell can leave a lasting impression on a person. Click here to read how these essayists have been inspired by saying goodbye.


The Immigrant Experience

width=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 here to learn the beliefs that immigration has inspired in these essayists.


Essays from China

width=Just like in the United States, teachers in China have asked their students to write This I Believe essays. The hopes and passions of these students are evident, even as they write in a second language. Click here to learn what these Chinese students believe.



Taking Inspiration from Dr. King

width=Each year, the U.S. marks the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his birthday. 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. Click here to read how these essayists were moved by Dr. King.


Tolerance and Acceptance

width=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 here to read how these essayists seek to exercise true tolerance and acceptance in their lives.




width=The celebration of quinceañera is a tradition among people of Latin American heritage that marks a 15-year-old girl’s transition from childhood to womanhood. The festivities can include a religious ceremony, elaborate gowns and tuxedoes, a lavish party, and a special dance of the quinceañera and her court. Such a major turning-point in a young girl’s life can evoke a range of emotions and inspire a number of beliefs. Click here to read what these essayists feel about this important rite of passage.