I really enjoyed reading these essays Written by common citizens as well as easily recognized people of fame, they tell of the personal philosophies that these people have developed in their lives Some are religious, some are political, some are very deep and philosophical, and some are light and funny, but all are worth the time spent reading them I read the book as I read a novel, but honestly, you could just sit and pick it up whenever you have a couple of minutes and cherry pick an essay that appeals to you at that moment My favorite two essays were one written by Jackie Robinson, Free Minds and Hearts at Work , and one written by a 16 yr old boy, Tomorrow Will Be a Better Day I will be re reading these essays over and over again and at some point I hope to take the time and write my own I think it s an important skill to be able to put into words what you really believe. I really wish I had listened to this in smaller chunks It s a lot to take in Some of the essays were not exceptional, but others were absolutely wonderful Topics ranged from the rule of law, love, and freedom to barbecue and jazz And listening to this collection, rather than reading it, really does add a lot to the experience Not to mention the opportunity to hear such voices as Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Jackie Robinson. An Inspiring Collection Of The Personal Philosophies Of A Group Of Remarkable Men And Women Based On The National Public Radio Series Of The Same Name, This I Believe Features Eighty Essayists From The Famous To The Unknown Completing The Thought That Begins The Book S Title Each Piece Compels Readers To Rethink Not Only How They Have Arrived At Their Own Personal Beliefs But Also The Extent To Which They Share Them With Others Featuring A Well Known List Of Contributors Including Isabel Allende, Colin Powell, Gloria Steinem, William F Buckley Jr Penn Jillette, Bill Gates, And John Updike The Collection Also Contains Essays By A Brooklyn Lawyer A Part Time Hospital Clerk From Rehoboth, Massachusetts A Woman Who Sells Yellow Pages Advertising In Fort Worth, Texas And A Man Who Serves On The State Of Rhode Island S Parole Board The Result Is A Stirring And Provocative Trip Inside The Minds And Hearts Of A Diverse Group Of People Whose Beliefs And The Incredibly Varied Ways In Which They Choose To Express Them Reveal The American Spirit At Its Best Like a lot people I listen to This I Believe segments on NPR I am so inspired every time I hear one of these essays read aloud on the radio I love how three words make me think about the way I see life and evaluate my own personal philosophies of life When I found out that there was a book I made it a goal to read it I am a natural pessimist This I believe I LOVE being nice to strangers and to the people in my life Sometimes, though, I wonder why I even bother Does anyone care There is so much evil in the world and gasoline is at 4 a gallon why did I even bother bringing a child into the world This book brought peace to my mind and tears to my eyes These short essays are by people like ME who care about the world and the creatures that inhabit it I can t begin to tell you how many times I had to lovingly set the book onto my lap to catch my breath There is an army of goodness out there and the authors with essays in this book and on the website are in this army I realized that I too am a member of not only this army of goodness but of the side of humanity that brings compassion and humility down to our daily lives I m also inspired to finally write my own essay A collection of essays from the famous and not so famous about their personal life philosophies, I found this to be very thought provoking Some essays from the original 1950s series were mixed in with the contemporary ones, and there s even one that spans both There are essays covering heartfelt and controversial subjects religion, patriotism, bigotry and there are less serious subjects, such as being nice to the pizza guy.Here are a few selections I ll include the author and time period hidden at the end it is amazing how timeless some of these truly are It is in giving that I connect with others, with the world, and with the divine It is in giving that I feel the spirit of my daughter inside me, like a soft presence view spoiler Isabel Allende, current she lost her daughter, Paula, to illness a pain we share hide spoiler If you had 3 minutes to clearly state what your beliefs are, could you do it What would you say Would you talk about your religious beliefs, or the lessons your mother taught you that you still live by, ideas from books you ve read, or the things you learned through living your life This collection of personal philosophies of remarkable men and women consists of short essays, written both in the 1950 s and in the early 21st century, as part of the This I Believe series on NPR The series first ran in the 1950 s on a radio show hosted by Edward R Murrow The show was resurrected on NPR in 2005, and is still being aired In fact, anyone can send in their own story of what they believe by going to the website From the original series, we have stories by Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Leonard Bernstein, and other luminaries of that time, as well as stories by non celebrities From the 21st century, contributors include Isabel Allende, Azar Nafisi, Bill Gates and our own Frederic Reamer Professor of Social Work at Rhode Island College Their various beliefs made for an enlightening day of reading I came away feeling inspired and hopeful, and how can a book be any better than that My favorite thoughts I believe that life isn t a popularity contest I really don t care what other people say about me and believe me, they ve said plenty For me, it s about trying to do the right thing even when nobody is looking Jody Williams I now again believe there is good than evil of those who create, or wish to create, than those who destroy of those who love than those who hate Maximilian Hodder Everything potent, from human love to atomic energy, is dangerous it produces ill about as readily as good it becomes good only through the control, the discipline, the wisdom with which we use it Wallace Stegner In a collection of short essays, men and women from all walks of life share their defining beliefs.I listen to NPR in between audiobook downloads but I seem to only be in the car for the news and Marketplace, so I ve never heard any of these essays I enjoyed them immensely.Ranging from funny to serious, from heartfelt to tongue in cheek, there s a wide range of personal voices and creeds to be found in this collection I particularly liked that essays from the first run of the series, hosted by Edward R Murrow in the 50s, were included They were concerned about the end of the free world due to the Cold War Now we re concerned about the end of the free world due to terrorism of all kinds Some things never seem to change That said, people don t change all that much either, and I mean that in the best possible way We still have faith in our own humanity Many of us have religious or spiritual faith Those who don t have faith in order and reason Kindness, compassion, humility, personal growth, empathy all our best traits are on display here, both in the older essays and the recent ones.On a side note, I enjoyed hearing the way voices and accents have changed in only about 60 years The accents in the 50s seemed to be pronounced My guess is that we re losing some regional accents due to media influences That makes me a bit sad since I enjoy hearing them and definitely speak with my own Appalachian twang I was interested to hear women speak back then too I find it hard to explain, but their voices sounded breathy and feminine to me Was that something girls were subconsciously taught I ve noticed it in old movies but assumed it was just the actress in her role Now I m left wondering if it was a cultural thing.By the end of the collection, I had started tuning out a bit They were all unique in approach but some of the fundamentals did start to feel a bit repetitive I understand this was issued in print and as an audio book I would definitely recommend listening to it The pieces were originally written for radio so it makes sense to approach them in the intended medium However you read them, I do recommend this collection You ll be left wondering, as I do, What do I believe Overall, the book was an interesting read It was fascinating to read the perspectives of such different people and see the underlying theme in all of their essays At the same time, I had a problem with this theme I understand that the book was supposed to be inspiring, and there were several essays that did this for me Overall, though, I really would have liked to see a little variety I understand that this is the equivalent of asking for a completely different book, since one of the premeses was that none of the views expressed in the essays could be dogmatic or narrow minded , whatever that means to the editors However, until people who see themselves as open minded have conversations with the people they consider narrow minded, can we truly say that we ve tried to be open minded at all If you can t communicate your ideas to all kinds of people and at least try to understand people who are different from you as well as try to make them understand you , I don t know if any progress can really be made I would have liked to see of these kinds of conversations take place in the book. In my commitment to read 52 books this year, I made a list of ones I want to read, have bought to read etc This title was one that I had borrowed from the library, since it was recommended reading from Ali Edwards during an online class I took It s from the NPR, and it s a collection of short essays from different people On what they believe It was a quick read Great food for thought.During reading this book, I started to question my own beliefs Not the core ones The biblical ones, or even the taught ones I questioned what do I truly believe At this 35 year old state of my life Currently in the stage of child rearing, what is it that I want my kids to know about ME About what I truly believe So I am working on an essay, about what I believe I will post it when I complete it Reading the book, there were a few quotes that really popped out at me Here they are.1 You only have what you give It s by spending yourself that you become rich Isabel Alede2 A mans noblest endowment is his capacity to change Leonard Bernstein3 Being fully open to yourself may be the hardest work you will ever do 4 If I die it will be Glory, if I live it will be Grace 5 Families are not only blood relatives, but sometimes just people that show up and love you when no one else will. This print copy of essays written and read for the NPR series by the same title is sweet and lovely, diverse, and by turns light and deep From the pizza guy to barbeque, from prominent politicians to the mom down the block, it covers a lot of ground The effect is to generate conversations and intimacies that might otherwise never have developed For starting conversations that you never have the time to start, for getting into the heads of people we think we know, and for stimulating personal spiritual and intellectual development a wonderful addition to one s bookshelf.