Special Features

Quinceañera

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Photo illustration by Crystal Marie Lopez via Flickr

The celebration of quinceañera is a tradition among people of Latin American heritage that marks a 15-year-old girl’s transition from childhood to womanhood. The festivities can include a religious ceremony, elaborate gowns and tuxedoes, a lavish party, and a special dance of the quinceañera and her court. Such a major turning-point in a young girl’s life can evoke a range of emotions and inspire a number of beliefs, as you’ll read in the essays below.

  1. This Is Who I Am
  2. Easy to Forgive, Hard to Forget
  3. The Promise of a Jewelry Box
  4. A Successful Life in America

In Remembrance: Owsley Brown II

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This I Believe has lost a valued friend and a benefactor of this organization. Owsley Brown II was a former chief executive of Brown-Forman, the liquor company his family founded in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1870. Brown and his wife, Christy, have been leaders in their support of the arts, historic preservation and interfaith understanding. The staff of This I Believe offers its condolences to the Brown family.

In Remembrance: Charles H. Percy (1919 – 2011)

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U. S. Senate photo

Charles Percy served as United States Senator from Illinois from 1967 to 1985. As a moderate Republican, he was active in business issues, international affairs, housing policy and judicial reform. Percy opposed the Vietnam War and he was the first senator to call for a special prosecutor to investigate Watergate. When Percy was a 33-year-old corporate executive in Chicago, he wrote his essay for Edward R. Murrow’s This I Believe.

Reflections on 9/11

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Photo illustration by Waldemar Koscielny via Flickr

In the decade since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, many people have struggled to make sense of the events of that day. From shock and anger, to grief and resolution, the emotions engendered by 9/11 have inspired a number of essayists to re-evaluate their own lives and America’s place in the world. Click the links below to explore the beliefs these personal reflections have revealed.

  1. Peace Is Possible
  2. What Is the Value of a Human Life?
  3. The Rule of Law
  4. That Old Piece of Cloth
  5. The America I Believe In

Clothes Make the Person

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Photo illustration by Eileen Josephine via Flickr

To paraphrase Mark Twain, clothes make the person. Some of us prefer to lead with a fashion statement, while others go for a well-worn and comfortable look. From the hats on our heads to the shoes on our feet, clothes keep us covered, express our personalities, and even become an inspiration for belief.

  1. Dressing How I Want
  2. Hand-Knit Socks
  3. America’s Beauty Is In Its Diversity
  4. The Empty Hatbox
  5. Happiness at Your Feet

Life Lessons on Diversity

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Diversity is a fact of life, and each day can bring a new experience with someone who may be racially, culturally or politically different from ourselves. So do we accept these encounters as a learning opportunity, or do we react with fear or prejudice? Explore how these essayists have embraced diversity in their lives with this selection of beliefs from our book and audiobook, This I Believe: Life Lessons.

  1. An Invitation to Dialogue
  2. A Priceless Lesson in Humility
  3. Finding Our Common Ground
  4. Becoming Friends
  5. Yankee Go Home

Mother’s Day

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Photo illustration by Daniel Zanini H. via Flickr

In honor of mothers everywhere, we present these essays about the mother-child relationship. From the simple conversations of everyday life, to the greatest challenges a parent can face, motherhood inspires a wealth of beliefs. Click the links below to explore this sampling.

  1. Some Things To Know About Your Mother
  2. Telling Kids The Whole Truth
  3. There Is No Job More Important Than Parenting
  4. The Guts to Keep Going
  5. Inner Strength from Desperate Times

You can find these and other essays celebrating motherhood on the audio CD, A Mother’s Gift.

Earth Day

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Photo illustration by Sandy Redding via Flickr

To mark the 41st anniversary of Earth Day, we look back at some of the essays that have been inspired by the environment. Click the links below to explore themes ranging from caring for the planet to reveling in wilderness.

  1. A Reverence For All Life
  2. Married To This Land
  3. A Sacred Connection To The Sun
  4. Pink Moments
  5. A Feeling Of Wildness
  6. Living Life With ‘Grace And Elegant Treeness’

In Remembrance: Warren Christopher (1925 – 2011)

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Photo by Nubar Alexanian

Many of the celebrities who appeared on our NPR series were invited to write essays for This I Believe. Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher sent us a statement on his own, submitting it through our website like thousands of his fellow Americans. In tribute to Secretary Christopher, we present his essay from 2006, which explored his belief that diplomacy – and life – work best when people trust and depend on one another.

  1. A Shared Moment of Trust

Football

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Photo illustration by Zack Baddorf via Wikipedia

If you look beyond the hype that surrounds the annual Super Bowl, you find a game that’s been played in America for more than a century. As with many sports, football provides an opportunity for players and fans to find a deeper meaning – and even belief – in athletic activity.

  1. The Peace in Football
  2. Friday Night in a Small Town
  3. Faith and Football
  4. The Beauty of Silent Reflection
  5. Life in Practice