This I Believe - Rhode Island

Wednesday at 6:45 AM, 8:45 AM and 5:45 PM

Credit Scott Indermaur

Hosted by Frederic Reamer

Modeled on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow, This I Believe - Rhode Island, hosted by Frederic Reamer, is an effort to share the many stories of people of Rhode Island... the personal experiences that have helped form the opinions of your neighbors. This I Believe - Rhode Island is also an opportunity for you to share your own beliefs and experiences.

If you are interested in submitting an essay, please see our guidelines here.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Revision

Nov 18, 2014

 In Plato's Apology, Socrates asserts that the unexamined life is not worth living.  While that may be a bit of an overstatement, many of us have learned during the course of our lives that self-examination that has real depth is a virtue that pays impressive dividends.  We understand ourselves better and, one would hope, enhance the meaning and purpose of our lives.  Self-reflection, and the careful revision that results, also has the capacity to refine the profoundly important words we speak and write, as we hear from Kenneth Schneyer.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Rewind

Nov 11, 2014

In A.A. Milne's classic children's story Winnie the Pooh, the beloved anthropomorphic bear asks Piglet, "What day is it?"  "It's today," squeaked Piglet.  "My favorite day," Pooh replied.  Pooh's profound message, it seems, is that it's so important for us to appreciate the moment we're in -- a moment that won't last forever -- despite whatever wishes we might have to hold tight to the most precious events in our lives.  And we hear compelling echoes of that very wise insight from Rabbi Sarah Mack.


This I Believe Rhode Island: Miracles

Nov 4, 2014

The nineteenth century novelist Joseph Conrad once wrote, “My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel--it is, before all, to make you see.”  And that is exactly what this NPR series aims to do.  Featured essayists stitch together words that let you peek inside their core beliefs, their struggles to understand their world, their insights about what matters most in life.  Sometimes these words are expressed in prose, sometimes in poetry.  And as we hear in this encore essay featuring Rhode Island's state poet Rick Benjamin, sometimes we enjoy both poetry and prose.

Rick Benjamin is the state poet of Rhode Island.  He works in a variety of educational and community settings, and especially enjoys working with people aged six to, at this moment, 99.  Benjamin lives with his family in Pawtuxet Village.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Carnival

Oct 29, 2014

Youthful frolic.  Remember those days, filled with all manner of excursions on the wild side, curiosity-driven cavorting, and adolescent drama?  For sure, these sorts of endeavors often amount to nothing more than spontaneous delights, perhaps with a little hedonism in there for good measure.  But as we hear from Frederick Massie, on occasion these moments are filled with profound, sometimes deeply disquieting lessons.

Frederick Massie is the Rhode Island Bar Association's Director of Communications and Editor of the Rhode Island Bar Journal. A graduate of Brown University, his wide-ranging experience includes work as an educator, writer and advocate.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Imagination

Oct 21, 2014

Have you had those moments when you let your imagination run wild, conjuring up all manner of outside-the-box fantasies and alternate realities?  Isn't it fun at times to view the world through radically different lenses that take us out of the more prosaic lives we lead?  Leave it to Dr. Seuss to say it so well:  “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”  And we hear similar sentiments from Denis Roche.

Denis Roche is a children's book author and illustrator. She lives in South County with her husband, four daughters and a vast community of chipmunks. She is currently at work on a novel for children.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Middle Age

Oct 14, 2014

Middle age is such an odd phrase, with all of its complex connotations.  For some the term conjures up images of crisis that's met with the stereotypic purchase of, say, a red sports car or other misguided impulses.  For others middle age suggests a sort of quiescence that's too hard to achieve in adolescence and young adulthood.  As we hear from Tina Egnoski, middle age can bring with it its own special wisdom.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Plans

Oct 8, 2014

There's a well known Yiddish expression you may have heard:  Der mentsh trakht un Got lakht.  Translation: Man plans and God laughs.  How often does it happen that your best laid plans get turned upside down by some unexpected development in your life?  As Harry Sterling reminds us in this encore essay, sometimes what lands on our doorsteps -- both literally and figuratively --  has a way of reminding us not to be too confident when we map out our paths in life.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Nature’s Lessons

Oct 1, 2014

Nature’s lessons.  Often they teach us as much about the meaning of life as they do about the mysteries of plants and animals, flowers and fruit.  Albert Einstein said it so well: “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” And we hear similar sentiments from Myra Ellen Edelstein.

Myra Ellen Edelstein is an Associate Professor of Business Studies and Economics at Salve Regina University in Newport, where she teaches Creative Problem Solving and Quality Management, certainly, she says, as a direct result of her parents’ influence.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Inspiration

Sep 23, 2014

Taking initiative.  Inspiring words.  Inspiring words about taking initiative – now that’s a great combination.  Isn’t it wonderful when we’re on the receiving end of inspiring words that truly move us into action, sage advice that turns out to last a lifetime? Audrey Hepburn once said, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible!”  Bernie Luger tells us about a mere handful of words that brought that message home to him years ago.

Originally trained as a chemist, Bernie Luger became a casino manager.  In 2007, he left casino gaming to become an advocate for education reform for disadvantaged youth.  Currently Luger is the Chief Operating Officer of the Providence Public Schools.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Anonymity

Sep 16, 2014

In an interview with Mother Jones Magazine, singer, songwriter, and poet Ani DiFranco once said, “I’m a little hibernating animal. Anonymity is one of my favorite things.”  Some of us yearn for anonymity, to be out of the spotlight and fly below radar.  Others of us find anonymity and invisibility painful, especially when we’ve worked so hard to achieve something terribly important.  Jane Medas Fleury shares some special thoughts about working hard in a quiet way that leads to neither fame nor fortune.

Jane Medas Fleury has worked in information technology since the days when it was called data processing, most recently at the Rhode Island School of Design.  She is now trying her hand at poetry and writing.

You know that expression, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”?  What it means, of course, is that we should do what we can to make the best of difficult circumstances we encounter, to extract something positive out of the unbidden events that come our way.  This isn’t always feasible, but isn’t it wonderful when we manage to figure out a way to turn life’s traumas into meaningful, sometimes glorious, even magnificent, opportunities?  That’s what Elena Yee has experienced in her life, as we hear in this encore essay.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Gratitude

Sep 2, 2014

We all know that life can overwhelm us at times, but it sure is nice when we can take a step back and feel grateful, truly appreciating what's good and rich in our lives.  The ancient Roman statesman and philosopher Cicero put it succinctly:  "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others."  If we're really fortunate, we find times in our lives when we're able to stop and truly embrace profound moments and encounters that come our way, as has Daren Girard.

Daren Girard is an emergency physician at Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket, where he also serves as the Medical Director of Emergency Services.  Girard, his wife, and two children, Sophie and Teddy, live in North Kingstown.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Advanced Care Planning

Aug 26, 2014

Anticipating the end of life isn’t exactly at the top of the list of what most of us would choose to dwell on.  The reality, of course, is that all of us are headed there, yet there’s compelling evidence that relatively few of us truly clarify and document our wishes for end of life care, should the need arise.  Maybe it’s procrastination or maybe it’s plain old denial.  But as we hear from Melissa Miranda, what a gift it is to the ones we love when we’re able to say it like it is or, rather, how we want it to be.

Melissa Miranda lives in Pawtucket, Rhode Island with her four daughters, attended Roger Williams University, and works at Healthcentric Advisors in Providence, where she is a Senior Program Administrator. Melissa leads a Patient Safety project, supporting quality improvement efforts in the hospital and nursing home settings.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Mentors

Aug 19, 2014

Support.  All of us need it now and then, during those occasional life crises or, perhaps, because of the more chronic, ongoing challenges we face.  The most fortunate among us can draw on people who love and care about us, sometimes at a moment’s notice.  And sometimes these relationships leave a deep and everlasting imprint, changing the course of our lives, as we hear from Nadej Giroux.

Nadej Giroux lives in Warwick, Rhode Island and is delighted to be a full-time mom and homemaker. She moved to Rhode Island from Russia 15 years ago.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Identity

Aug 12, 2014

The famed writer and poet Gertrude Stein once said, ''Growing has no connection with audience. Audience has no connection with identity." Stein's claim, it seems, is that our true identity is embedded deep within each of us and develops over the years in its own inexorable way. It's a complex, even debatable phenomenon, as Alex Myers knows very, very well.

Before moving to Washington, DC, Alex Myers taught English at St. George's School in Middletown. His first novel, Revolutionary, tells the story of Deborah Samson, who disguised herself as a man and fought in the Revolutionary War.