this I believe

This I Believe Rhode Island: When It Falls Apart

May 19, 2015

Human foibles and failure.  We’ve all had our share during the course of our lives, to varying degrees.  Some disappointments and blunders are inevitable; what matters most is how we cope with and learn from them.  The Irish novelist James Joyce  famously wrote, “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” Thirteen-year-old Sophie Grosswendt talks about how she’s learned to cope with failure.
 

   

Sophie Grosswendt is in the seventh grade at the Gordon School in East Providence.  She lives with her family in  Cranston.

Have you ever encountered moments in life when you weren't sure you had the wherewithal to climb out of bed and face another day?  Moments when you saw no light whatsoever at the end of your tunnel, when you wanted to, well, just give up and end it all?  Sadly, many people have just such moments.  The most fortunate are able to climb out of the dark abyss.  And, as we know, some are not.  We hear from David Blistein, who has written a powerful memoir about his own struggles with mental illness.

David Blistein grew up in Providence and, he reports, learned to write from his father, who was on the Brown University faculty for many years.  Blistein is a graduate of Amherst College and now lives in southern Vermont.  Blistein's books explore history, spirituality, nature, and psychology.  His most recent work is David's Inferno: My Journey through the Dark Woods of Depression.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Saying Goodbye

Apr 28, 2015

Death.  We know it's coming at some point, and we know it's filled with mystery and, perhaps, some anxiety.  Death is especially difficult when we lose someone we hold near to our hearts.  And when it happens, each of us deals with mortality in whatever way makes sense to us at the time – sometimes with deep anguish, and sometimes with a quiet resolve, equanimity, and acceptance.  Fourteen-year-old Jillian Lombardi talks about her way of coping with the death of someone who was dear to her.

Jillian Lombardi is in the eighth grade at the Moses Brown School in Providence.  She lives with her family in Barrington.

Family mementos and memories.  For many of us they’re vitally important – and full of vitality, keeping loved ones near to our hearts, especially once they’re no longer with us.  Precious trinkets, heirlooms, one-of-a-kind photographs, this is the stuff that binds us to the people we care about. The novelist Saul Bellow once wrote, “Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.”  And as we hear from Reed Caster in this encore essay, profound connections are sometimes forged from the most modest inheritances.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Seasons

Apr 15, 2015

No doubt you have noticed how our lives ebb and flow, much like the seasons.  Both literally and figuratively we get to experience the wonder of stunningly beautiful spring days and the bitter assault delivered by the occasional winter blizzard.  Such is life.  Indeed, seasons seem to be able to teach us so much about coping with life's inevitable ups and downs, including its bittersweet moments.  Consider the quote penned by the French Nobel existentialist Albert Camus: “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."  These are the sentiments echo

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