Fifties

The essays in this category were recorded and broadcast between 1951 and 1954.

June 25, 2010

To Preserve A Benevolent Attitude

In her youth, Verona Wylie Slater’s beliefs were shaped by her father, a Presbyterian minister, and by her brothers, who were writers. As an adult, Slater embraced the traits she wanted to embody as a woman and mother: wisdom, gentleness and bravery.
June 18, 2010

I Agree With A Pagan

Arnold Toynbee says everyone has certain skills and knowledge, yet what makes us truly human is how we relate to other people. The noted historian believes that suffering is not only inevitable but it is indispensable in gaining a lifelong education.
June 11, 2010

The Fellowship of the World

Movie writer Niven Busch appreciated the solitude of a horseback ride on his ranch. But he also valued the bustle and chaos of a subway trip in a crowded city. Busch believed these journeys allowed him to better connect with his fellow wayfarers.
May 28, 2010

Happy Talk

Lyricist and Broadway producer Oscar Hammerstein believed himself to be a happy man despite the personal disappointments and global conflicts he witnessed. Inspired by nature, Hammerstein says his happiness came from embracing his own imperfections.
May 21, 2010

Turning a Valley of Tears Into Paradise

Maria von Trapp and her husband were puzzled by a Bible verse that says only those who “become like little children” gain entry to heaven. By observing their own ten children, Trapp came to believe that meant living simply, directly, and in the moment.
May 14, 2010

All Men Are My Brothers

From the 1950s series, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist James Michener tells how the people he met during World War II informed his belief in the brotherhood of mankind. Michener says tolerance and kindness can overcome differences in race, culture, and language.
April 30, 2010

The Important Difference

Whether athlete, laborer, executive or artist, legendary sportscaster Red Barber believes man is, ultimately, a spiritual being. Barber says the spiritual aspects of how a person thinks guide how he lives, works, and grapples with mysteries of existence.
April 23, 2010

A Twinge of Conscience

Oscar-winning actor Peter Ustinov didn’t have much use for organized religion; he found it oppressive and depressing. Preferring individual freedom of expression, Ustinov says he arrived at his faith after reasoned thought rather than divine inspiration.
April 16, 2010

Freedom Is a Social Necessity

ACLU attorney Arthur Garfield Hays was part of some of the biggest court cases of the early 20th century from the Scottsboro Nine to the Sacco and Vanzetti trial. But when it came to naming his belief, Hays found it in the basic concept of freedom.