this I believe

On Politics
12:50 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Brown Medical School Dean Dr. Stanley Aronson Dies At 92

Dr. Stanley Aronson, the founding dean of Brown University’s Alpert School of Medicine, a prolific writer, advocate for community organizations and one of Rhode Island’s most prominent public intellectuals,  died this morning. He was 92.

Aronson, whose career spanned more than 70 years, was a world-renowned doctor, medical researcher and leader in medical education. A genial, generous man, Aronson served as mentor to generations of physicians and medical students.

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Local Features
5:00 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

This I Believe Rhode Island: Diversity

What is it that draws so many of us to the Ocean State and keeps us here, even when opportunities elsewhere beckon?  In a word, community.  Somehow Rhode Island’s intimate and quirky scale, its mix of neighborhood and neighborhood characters – even with their sometimes rough edges – manage to pull us in and get ahold of us, a bit like flypaper.  For so many of us, Rhode Island’s complex richness seeps into our bones and, even with all its challenges, becomes part of who we are.  And that’s just what we hear from Karen Lee Ziner in this encore essay.

Karen Lee Ziner has lived in Providence since 1980.  She is a staff writer for The Providence Journal. A version of this essay previously appeared in the Providence Sunday Journal.

Local Features
5:00 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

This I Believe Rhode Island: Hope Over Depression

All of us have known someone in the midst of deep, relentless despair, someone whose challenges in life seem so intractable, so overwhelming that there doesn't appear to be a way out.  Sadly some people feel so hopeless that their will to live evaporates.  Others somehow manage to move forward toward whatever light glimmers at the end of a long, dark tunnel.  Brian Shanley is living proof of what it means to have hope -- real hope -- in the throes of agonizing anguish.

Brian Shanley grew up in Attleboro, Massachusetts, attended Providence College, and, for graduate school, Salve Regina University, where he now serves as associate dean of admissions.  Shanley lives with his wife and son in Newport, Rhode Island.

Local Features
5:00 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

This I Believe Rhode Island: Brotherhood

The kindness of strangers.  How wonderful it is when, out of the pure goodness of their hearts, complete strangers step in to rescue us in moments of peril.  When it occurs, unvarnished altruism is remarkable.  Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” Bill Miles is here to tell us what it’s like to be on the receiving end of truly extraordinary kindness.

 

Bill Miles, a resident of Seekonk, Massachusetts, is a professor of political science at Northeastern University.  One month before getting his scars in Wagadugu, his new book on postcolonial legacies, Scars of Partition, was released by the University of Nebraska Press.

 

Local Features
5:00 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

This I Believe Rhode Island: Discovering One's Passion

Parenting is a very tricky proposition, filled with lots of surprises – some pleasant and some, well, not so much . . . surprises that aren’t addressed in the owner’s manual.  Most parents do their best to sort it all out as they go along, hoping their instincts and judgments are good ones or, at least, not disastrous.  Our hope, of course, is that over time our children find a path in life that’s filled with meaning and purpose.  And those are the wistful sentiments we hear from Maryellen Butke.

Maryellen Butke describes herself as an avid political junkie and advocate for education and equality.  Butke advises education philanthropists to enhance their impact.  She and her partner Jo live in Providence with their children Alicia and Matthew.

Local Features
5:00 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

This I Believe Rhode Island: Creating Beauty

The famed cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead once opined, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."  Such sentiments often conjure up images of sweeping social change.  But as we hear from Diana Jackson in this encore essay, a small group of committed people can also have a profound impact on the quality of life in our own little corner of the world here in the Ocean State.

Diana Harmon Jackson is an artist, educator, political activist, and, she reports, lover of people, especially kids and older adults. Her passions are family, friends, music, art, and, as we've just heard embedded in her eloquent words, nature.

Local Features
5:00 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

This I Believe Rhode Island: Everyday Choices

How many of you feel your senses being assaulted on a daily basis by the distressingly steady and toxic flow of bad news in the world?  international conflict.  Famine.  Natural disasters.  Severe economic downturns.  Heinous crime.  The list goes on and on.  Most of us yearn for peace and safety.  We want tranquility in the small, private corners of our world and in the global community.   Darlene Van Straten shares her very personal insights about this widespread and shared challenge.

Darlene Van Straten is a technical writer who resides in Portsmouth, Rhode Island with her husband, who hails from Puli, Taiwan.

Local Features
5:00 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

This I Believe Rhode Island: Hope and Faith

All of us have moments when hope seems fleeting, despite our best efforts to keep the flame aglow.  Try as we might, sometimes life’s dark clouds seem endless, so much so that it’s hard to have faith that our circumstances will brighten.  But hope we must have.  The retired Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu once said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”  And our need to hold on to hope and faith is the theme of Ivy Marwil’s essay.

Ivy Elinoff Marwil has been a clinical social worker and psychotherapist for more than 35 years.  She reports that much of what she now believes about faith and hope she has learned from the people she has helped and, most recently, from her new role as grandmother.

 

Local Features
6:19 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

This I Believe Rhode Island: Time

The concept of time is remarkably elusive and mysterious.  At once it seems both hauntingly infinite and extraordinarily limited.  It's truly here today and gone tomorrow.  The very wise Dr. Seuss once asked, "How did it get so late so soon?"  Joy Bianco reflects on the evolution of her own deeply personal understanding – and appreciation – of time.

Joy Bianco is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and Roger Williams University School of Law.  Bianco writes from her home in Warwick where she lives with her husband and four daughters.

Local Features
5:25 am
Wed December 3, 2014

This I Believe Rhode Island: Working The Soil

Madame Marie Curie, the renowned chemist and physicist who was the first female Nobel prize recipient, once said, “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”  And isn’t it true that perseverance in the face of daunting odds is what helps us get through life’s challenging moments?  That’s what we hear from Jennifer Bristol in this encore essay.

Jennifer Bristol is the Executive Director of Mount Hope Farm in, of all places, Bristol, Rhode Island. She reports having two amazing daughters, and lives in Pawtuxet Village with her best guy Jim and their best dog Rocket.

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