Special Features

Words of a Poet

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Photo by Valentina_A via Flickr

Whether a sonnet, a haiku, or free verse, poetry is a distillation of language that reveals the very essence of an idea or emotion. In celebration of National Poetry Month, we hope you’ll click the links below to read how these essayists have found their beliefs through poetry.

  1. Art Is a Question of Being Alive
  2. True Poetry
  3. The Making of Poems
  4. The Return of Poetry
  5. We Never Go Away

The First Ten Essays

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On April 5, 2005, This I Believe launched a new project—sharing the personal beliefs of men and women from all walks of life. To celebrate the ten years since we launched this project, we are taking a look back at the very first essays that started things off. We hope you enjoy reading the very first ten essays.

  1. In Giving I Connect With Others
  2. The America I Believe In
  3. Testing the Limits of What I Know and What I Feel
  4. Good Can Be as Communicable as Evil
  5. There Is Such a Thing as Truth
  6. Be Cool To The Pizza Dude
  7. How Is It Possible to Believe in God?
  8. The Real Consequences of Justice
  9. Science Nourishes the Mind and the Soul
  10. The Importance of Restlessness and Jagged Edges

Food as Metaphor

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Photo Credit: jeffreyw via Flickr

Yes, food is necessary for sustaining life. But more than just nutrition, some say food is love. Others still find that food can be a metaphor for how we should live our lives. Click the links below to learn how food has been a source of belief for these essayists.

  1. Be Cool To The Pizza Dude
  2. The Grilled Cheese Principle
  3. There Is No Such Thing As Too Much Barbecue
  4. My Mother’s Eggplant
  5. Finding Acceptance in Macaroni and Cheese

Living with Alzheimer’s

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Photo illustration by Rosie O'Beirne via Flickr

The emotional and physical demands of providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease can be exhausting. But through that crucible, people may find that a fundamental belief comes into sharp focus. Click the links below to read what these essayists have learned while caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.

  1. Don’t Tell Me How Rocky the Sea Is…
  2. At Moni’s Grill
  3. Family First
  4. Doing Your Duty with Love
  5. Gazing into the Face of Death

The Change of Seasons

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Photo illustration by Code Poet via Flickr

The official start of spring is this week, and for some in the U.S., it can’t come too soon. The vernal equinox not only marks a change in the seasons, but a transition in life as the dormancy of winter gives way to life blooming anew. Click the links below to read how these essayists are inspired by the coming of spring.

  1. Beauty for Everyone
  2. Hope Arrives on the Wind
  3. The Dawn of a New Season
  4. The Most Wonderful Rite of Spring
  5. The Annual Cycle That Is Life

Listening

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Photo by quinn.anya via Flickr

Some say the secret to being a good friend is to be a good listener. But beyond friendship, being a good listener is essential in other relationships, both personal and professional. In honor of Listening Awareness Month, listen carefully to what these essayists have to say about being a good listener.

  1. Listening Is Powerful Medicine
  2. Listening Shows Me the Way
  3. Learning to Listen
  4. Listening To Silence
  5. Beyond the Noise

Snow

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Photo courtesy Wendkuni via Flickr

The poet James Russell Lowell said snow covers the land with “a silence deep and white.” In that silence comes time for reflection about all manner of things in life, including belief. Click the links below to learn what these essayists learned during the wonder of a snowfall.

  1. The Hardest Work You Will Ever Do
  2. Never Give Up on Macaroni and Snowflakes
  3. An Appreciation of Life
  4. Winter Brings Joy, Hope, and Strength
  5. Snow Days

The Love We Choose

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Photo by Pietro Brugnera via Flickr

With Valentine’s Day approaching, pink and red flowers, cards, and candy are being sold in the name of love. As we consider all of the valentines in our lives—sweethearts, family, and even pets—this week, we are featuring a selection of essays from our book, This I Believe: On Love, that illustrate stories of the love we choose.

  1. The Love I Choose
  2. Deciding to Love Her
  3. Love from Head to Toe
  4. Love on Four Feet
  5. A Walk in the Woods Together
  6. The Friend Who Makes Me Complete

Finding Strength After Setbacks

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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