Special Features

Tolerance and Acceptance

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Photo illustration by Frerieke via Flickr

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 the links below to read how these essayists seek to exercise true tolerance and acceptance in their lives.

  1. Learning True Tolerance
  2. Only One Tribe
  3. An Invitation to Dialogue
  4. Words of the Living God
  5. One Person a Day

Summertime

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Photo by Peter Roome via Flickr

The long, lazy days of summer are a paradise for the young and the young at heart. From hanging out with friends, to summer jobs, to summer camp, it’s a time to explore, have fun, and maybe create a little mischief. Click the links below to read what these teens (and a few adults recalling their youth) think about the magic of summer.

  1. The Endless Possibilities of Summer
  2. An Escape from Normal Life
  3. Going Barefoot
  4. Summer Camp
  5. The Constant Gold of Summer

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

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Photo credit: Library of Congress

When the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, they pledged their belief that all human beings are born with the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Many essayists for This I Believe share that dedication to the principles on which our country was created. Click the links below to see how these essayists explore their beliefs in freedom, democracy, and liberty.

  1. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
  2. Proud of My Country
  3. A Public Man
  4. The America I Believe In
  5. The Pursuit of Happiness

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

Poetry

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Photo by Steve Johnson via Flickr

Even if the last time you thought about poetry was in high school, you probably have a favorite poem. Perhaps you can even recite it. To celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture, schools, libraries, booksellers, and poets throughout the U.S. come together every April to celebrate this written art form. In celebration of National Poetry Month, we hope you’ll click the links below to read how these essayists have found their beliefs in poetry.

  1. The Making Of Poems
  2. I Believe in Poetry
  3. I Wish I Could Believe
  4. Poetry or Pie?
  5. The Most Accessible Form of Poetry

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

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

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

World War II Veterans

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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