Special Features

The Human Body


Photo illustration by Prashant Zi via Flickr

The human body is an amazing network of blood, bone, tissue and neurons. The wonders of our bodies — from the finely toned specimen working at peak performance, to those struggling with disease or disability — can inspire powerful beliefs. Click the links below to read the statements of those in tune with their bodies.

  1. The Heartbreaking Splendor of Human Bodies
  2. I Am Not My Body
  3. The Flaw-Free Body
  4. An Athlete of God
  5. A Model Body

National Volunteer Week


Photo illustration by The Snow Thief via Flickr

This week, we honor the people who give of their time, talents and energy to assist those in need. Whether it’s cleaning up after a disaster, building a home, mentoring a child, or rescuing a stray animal, the act of helping another can be wondrously fulfilling for the person doing the work and for those receiving the assistance. Please click the links below to read about the beliefs inspired by volunteering.

  1. If You Don’t Do It, Who Will?
  2. For All the Right Reasons
  3. A Belief Worthy of a Lifetime of Effort
  4. Everyday Heroes
  5. The Kindness Of Strangers



Photo illustration by Skez via Flickr

The American one-cent piece is a common part of our everyday lives, piled on dressers, stored in jars or collected in piggy banks. Although this smallest part of our monetary system dates back to 1793, there are some who argue in favor of eliminating the penny. Whether the coin represents nostalgia or nuisance for you, these essayists have found the cent to be a source of their belief.

  1. Hunting Pennies
  2. Pennies from Heaven
  3. Taking Care of Pennies
  4. The Power of a Penny
  5. Lucky Pennies



Photo illustration by Tennessee Journalist via Flickr

March Madness, the four weeks when the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournament dominates American sports, is underway.  Whether played by college athletes, highly paid professionals or kids on the playground, basketball relies both on individual performance and teamwork.  Click the links below to see how the game has inspired these essayists.

  1. Teacher
  2. Pick-Up Ball Is Community
  3. You Don’t Win All The Time
  4. Practice Until Perfection Is Attained
  5. Advice from Michael Jordan

The Peace Corps


Peace Corps photo

More than 200,000 Americans have served in the Peace Corps since its founding in 1961. Volunteering in the Corps often means sacrificing time and effort for the benefit of others. From recognizing a latent love of country, to discovering a belief in “less,” these essayists remind us that time spent in the service of others can offer valuable life lessons in return.

  1. A Tour of Conscience
  2. I Come from Someplace
  3. The Right to an Education
  4. Heed the Call
  5. Less and More

2011 in Review


With the coming of the New Year, we are looking back and taking stock of the old year. 2011 included some wonderful essays about love, resilience, empathy and more. We hope you enjoy revisiting some of the beliefs presented in the past year.

  1. Living in Manageable Moments
  2. What We Tried to Do
  3. Semper Fidelis
  4. Time for Lunch
  5. Forgiving My Dad



Illustration by Norman Rockwell

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season, with gatherings of families and friends, and the sharing of food and drink. During the festivities of the coming weeks, we hope you take time to reflect on the beliefs that guide your life, just like these essayists have done.

  1. Family Blessings
  2. Joy Beyond Measure
  3. Hope Dished Out in Plenty
  4. You Can Go Home Again
  5. Baking by Senses and Memories



Photo illustration by RachelEllen via Flickr

With the economy still limping along, many people are watching their spending. Whether living frugally is a recent choice or a long-term habit, it’s easy to see the benefits of pinching pennies. Click the links below to explore what these essayists believe about their frugality.

  1. Make It Do
  2. A Life of Thrift
  3. A Happy Medium
  4. Hunting Pennies
  5. Countering the Force that Drives People Financially Crazy

The Marines


Photo illustration by Sgt. Bryan A. Peterson/U.S. Marines

Since 1775, Americans have served in the Marine Corps. From making amphibious landings on foreign soils, to guarding embassies around the world, the Corps engenders a life-long loyalty among those men and women who serve in it. Click the links below to explore the beliefs of these veterans of the United States Marines.

  1. Officers Eat Last
  2. Semper Fidelis
  3. Always a Marine
  4. The Chance to Become Something Better

In Remembrance: Norman Corwin


Photo by Nubar Alexanian

Poet, playwright and radio legend Norman Corwin died October 18 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 101 years old. During the 1930s and 1940s, Corwin produced some of the most celebrated dramas on radio. His work also spanned the stage, television, movies, books and teaching. In 2005, we were honored to feature Corwin’s This I Believe essay on our NPR series. He talked about the importance of simple acts of kindness and common courtesy, which he saw as the basis for building a stronger democracy and a better world.