Special Features

Our Brother’s Keeper

Published

Photo illustration by Pedro Ribeiro Simões via Flickr

Many of the world’s religions teach the importance of caring for each other, whether it’s tending to a close family member or showing compassion for a complete stranger. Click the links below to read how these essayists explore the simple acts of kindness that can enrich our own humanity.

  1. A Calling We Should Heed
  2. Being My Brother’s Keeper
  3. Only A Little Less Than Angels
  4. A Journey Across America
  5. Kindness Equals Survival

The Little Things

Published

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once said that “the little things are infinitely the most important.” Whether it’s sending someone a thank you card, shoveling a neighbor’s sidewalk, or remembering that your coworker prefers dark chocolate, the littlest things can make a big difference. Click the links below to read what these essayists believe about the little things.

  1. Small and Ordinary Actions
  2. Accomplishing Big Things in Small Pieces
  3. It’s All in the Details
  4. Little Things Matter, Too
  5. I Can Make a Difference

The Immigrant Experience

Published

Photo illustration by Greg Westfall via Flickr

In the heated debates over political policy, it’s easy to forget that America is largely a nation of immigrants. For those who came to this country from distant lands generations ago, to the recently naturalized citizen, the American dream is a powerful draw for people around the world. Click the links below to learn the beliefs that immigration has inspired in these essayists.

  1. My American Dream
  2. A New Beginning
  3. The Right to Be Fully American
  4. An Act Of Faith In America
  5. My Journey into the American Dream
  6. The America I Believe In

Water

Published

Photo by Joe Dyer via Flickr

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Water understands civilization well,” but how well do we understand water? Until we travel to other parts of the world or experience a drought or water main break, we tend to take water for granted. Take a moment to appreciate the importance of water by reading the thoughts of these essayists.

  1. The Last Drop of Water
  2. Navigating Turbulent Waters
  3. A Delicate Balance
  4. With Brown Shoes to Match
  5. A Drop in the Bucket

What’s in a Hug?

Published

Photo by lostintheredwoods via Flickr

When we share a hug with another person, we may not think about just how much it means. More than a quick handshake or saying “hello,” a hug conveys affection, acceptance, or empathy without saying a word. Click the links below to read how these essayists feel about the meaning behind a hug.

  1. A Healing Hug
  2. Hug It Out
  3. Grace Is a Gift
  4. First Friend
  5. The Power of Holding On

Laughter

Published

Photo by craigallyn via Flickr

When is the last time you laughed? Really laughed? Were you watching a funny movie or listening to a great joke? Sometimes a good laugh comes during times of happiness and light, and sometimes it is most welcome during dark times. Read the essays below to find how these people discovered a belief in laughter.

  1. Follow the Laughter
  2. Life Is Wonderfully Ridiculous
  3. A Personalized Laugh Track
  4. Find a Reason to Laugh
  5. The Many Gifts of Laughter

Cashiers, Clerks, and Servers

Published

Photo by Donna Walker, courtesy Herald Post via Flickr

Some of us are gearing up for summer vacation as July 4th approaches.  And the cashiers, clerks, and servers you encounter at your destination probably hope you’ll give some thought as to who they are and what they believe. Click the links below for a sampling.

  1. Now That’s Service
  2. A Transaction Between Fellow Citizens
  3. What I Can Change
  4. A New Work Ethic
  5. Please Return Your Shopping Cart

There’s No Place Like Home

Published

Photo by haglundc via Flickr

Home can be the house we grew up in, the town where we live, or where our hearts are. However you define home, it is a powerful force in our lives, one that can be a foundation for lifelong beliefs. Click the links below to read how these essayists have been inspired by their homes.

  1. To Dwell in Possibility
  2. I Am Home
  3. The Place I Call Home
  4. The Old Neighborhood
  5. Home Is Where the Heart Is

Father’s Day

Published

Photo credit Wade Brooks via flickr

For this Father’s Day, we offer the following selection of essays about fatherhood—from being a father, to the relationship with our fathers. Click the links below to learn how these essayists have been inspired by the diverse range of experiences related to the father-child relationship. You can find these and other essays celebrating dads in our book, This I Believe: On Fatherhood.

  1. Appreciating the Moment
  2. The Choice to Do It Over Again
  3. When Angels Miss
  4. Finding a Different Way
  5. A Love Beyond Boundaries

Almost Summer

Published

Photo courtesy basheertome via flickr

It may not yet be summer on the calendar, but the pools are open, school is out (or almost!), and the days are getting longer. With a two-month break from the responsibilities of school, it could be argued that no one appreciates summer more than teenagers. Click the links below to read what these teens believe about the magic of summer.

  1. The Beauty of Summer Nights
  2. An Escape from Normal Life
  3. Summer Love
  4. A Summer Breeze
  5. The Endless Possibilities of Summer