Special Features

Sharing Food With Family

Published

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season, with the attendant gatherings of family over food and drink. Regardless of the context, sitting down to share a meal can affirm our connections, our roots, and our traditions. Click the links below to partake of these beliefs about food and family.

  1. Doing Things the Slow Way
  2. Come to My Table
  3. Rice for Thanksgiving
  4. A Home-Cooked Tradition
  5. Finding Acceptance in Macaroni and Cheese

Beliefs Born on the Battlefield

Published

Photo illustration by Beverly & Pack via Flickr

There is perhaps no time that belief is more emphatically tested, and acted upon, than in war. For this Veterans Day, five essayists who served in the American military from World War I through the Iraq War tell how their experiences shaped their beliefs.

  1. Toward a Far, Far Better World
  2. Revelations on a Bomb Run
  3. An Equal Place on Earth
  4. Patriotic Ponderings
  5. We Will See the Job Through

The Power of the Vote

Published

Image courtesy of Highland Coffee

As we get ready to vote in the mid-term elections, here are some essays on the democratic process. From learning how voting can change lives, to reflecting on the votes cast over an entire lifetime, elections give voice to the hopes and aspirations we have for our country.

  1. An Act of Faith in America
  2. One Person’s Vote
  3. My Opinions Matter
  4. The Value of the Middle
  5. Throwing Away the Labels

Hope for the Future

Published

Photo illustration by singhajaykr25 via morgueFile.com

Hope is a commodity that many find in short supply. We can hope for things grand or mundane, but all hope embodies a faith and optimism that good can come to the world. Click the links below to read the hopes of these essayists.

  1. Hope Sustains Me
  2. Tomorrow Will Be a Better Day
  3. Recovering the Hope of Children
  4. Hope Has Amazing Energy
  5. The 50-Percent Theory of Life

A Walk in the Woods

Published

Photo by Robert Rossel via Flickr

As fall is around the corner with cooler days and turning leaves, it’s a perfect time for a hike among the trees. Whether for pleasure, exercise, or solitude, a walk in the woods can also inspire belief. Click the links below to learn what our essayists discovered out in nature.

  1. Forty Acres Of Freedom
  2. Living Life With ‘Grace And Elegant Treeness’
  3. To Disappear Into The Woods
  4. Walking With Trees
  5. Fully Immersing Ourselves In Nature

What Students Believe

Published

Photo illustration via MorgueFile.com

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 the links below to read a sampling of what young people believe.

  1. Thirty Things I Believe
  2. Being Content with Myself
  3. Finding the Flexibility to Survive
  4. The Triumph of Kindness
  5. Find a Good Frog
  6. The Real Me

Life Lessons Learned from Strangers

Published

Photo illustration by H.Koppdelaney via Flickr

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 the links below to read this selection of essays about life lessons learned from strangers.

  1. Do Talk to Strangers
  2. Opening the Door of Mercy
  3. Important Strangers
  4. Inviting the World to Dinner
  5. Becoming Friends

Hard Work

Published

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

The Meaning of Courage

Published

Photo by Alex E. Proimos via Flickr

What keeps you going when you are afraid to do something but do it anyway? What does it mean to be brave? Whether confronting fear of physical harm or death, or confronting justice and doing what’s right, many people find meaning in taking action to confront their fears.

  1. Small Acts of Courage
  2. Courage Comes with Practice
  3. The Chance to Move Forward
  4. Simple Acts of Courage
  5. Make This World a Better Place

Defining Family

Published

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