Special Features

The Clothesline


Fiona MacGinty

Some people do it to reduce their carbon footprint. Others prefer to save on their electricity bills. Whatever the inspiration, the old-fashioned practice of hanging one’s laundry on a clothesline to dry is making a comeback. Maybe it’s nostalgia, maybe it’s the fresh-air scent but working the clothesline is also inspiring beliefs among these essayists.

  1. Singing the Praises of Hanging the Laundry
  2. The “Fresh Air” Laundry Fragrance
  3. Uniting Body and Soul on the Clothesline
  4. In Praise of Simple, Everyday Tasks

At the Barber Shop & Beauty Shop


Photo by Gerry Dincher via flickr

In small towns especially, the barber shop or beauty parlor is often found at the center of town. Both literally and figuratively, the place we go to get a new style may just also be the place we find community and a sense of self. Click the links below to see how these essayists found belief at the beauty parlor or barber shop.

  1. Trimming
  2. Boys Don’t Play With Wigs
  3. The Barbershop
  4. Compliments
  5. Dime A Shine



Photo courtesy ky.gov

As we mark another Independence Day in the U.S., it’s an appropriate time to reflect on the nature of patriotism and the beliefs it can inspire among Americans from all walks of life. Click the links below to see what these essayists have to say.

  1. America Gives My Life Meaning
  2. Custodians of the Constitution
  3. A Universal Ideal
  4. Beautiful Country
  5. What the American Flag Means to Me

Behind Bars


Photo illustration by S Baker via Flickr

This I Believe has reached into many classrooms—including some located within county jails and state prisons.  Incarceration provides ample time to consider one’s beliefs, and a number of prisoners have shared their essays with us.  Click the links below for a sampling.

  1. Caring Makes Us Human
  2. The Fear That I Don’t Matter
  3. The Importance of Possibility, Chances, and Faith
  4. The Chaos of a Life Lived On the Edge

Books and Libraries


Courtesy of Friends of the Library–Waikoloa Region, Hawaii

It’s National Library Week, in which we celebrate the power of the printed word to change individual lives. When we collect those words into books, and amass those books into libraries, there is a force that can change communities and societies. Click the links below to explore what these essayists believe about libraries and the books within them.

  1. The Library Reading Room
  2. Books at All Costs
  3. The Courage of the Bookmobile Lady
  4. Reading Is a Life Force
  5. The Stillness of the Library

Frogs and Princesses


Photo credit: Jamie H via flickr

In today’s culture, little girls grow up watching movies about beautiful princesses, enchanted frogs, and the perfect kiss. But not everyone is waiting for a handsome prince to create the perfect fairy tale life. Click the links below to see how these essayists have created their own definitions of “happily ever after.”

  1. Find a Good Frog
  2. Not a Princess
  3. Fairy Tales
  4. I Believe in Frogs
  5. Pretty Princess

Planting Seeds


Photo courtesty Phil (darth_philburt) via flickr

This week marks the beginning of spring, and many gardeners have begun to plant seeds indoors in anticipation of the coming warmer days. For the essayists below, planting seeds—real or imagined—helps them look to a future harvest.

  1. The Simple Joys of Life
  2. We Are All Gardeners
  3. Sweet Pea Summer
  4. Mustard Seed
  5. Lessons Learned from Prairies

Writing Letters


Photo courtesy J. Paxon Reyes via flickr

The U.S. Postal Service will soon end Saturday mail delivery in response to the decreased mailing habits of the digital age. But for many people, sending a postcard from vacation, selecting stationery for the perfect thank you note, or waiting by the mailbox for a “real” letter just can’t be matched. Click the links below to read what these essayists believe about the importance of hand-written correspondence.

  1. A Handshake In Thought
  2. Letters Lost
  3. The Act Of Giving Thanks
  4. You’ve Got Mail
  5. The Lost and Found Art of Letter Writing



Photo courtesy Arlington County via flickr

One simple act of kindness can have long-lasting positive effects on both the giver and the receiver. Greeting a stranger with “hello” or helping a stranger in need may not solve the world’s problems, but it can make living in that particular moment more pleasant. Here, we celebrate a variety of kind acts with this selection of essays from This I Believe: Life Lessons, which has just been released in paperback.

  1. The Power of Hello
  2. A Lesson I Hold Dear
  3. Opening the Door of Mercy
  4. Everyone Is Included
  5. Caring Makes Us Human

Be Mine


Photo courtesy Dave Parker via flickr

Valentine’s Day is this week, and a lot of people will be buying flowers and chocolates for their sweethearts. But love is much bigger than the romantic variety. This week, we are featuring a selection of essays from our book, This I Believe: On Love, that illustrate the many other facets of this most fundamental human emotion.

  1. Sam’s Valentine
  2. Love on Aisle Three
  3. Love Like a Child
  4. A New Kind of Love
  5. Brotherly Love