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.

How often do you stop to think about how important trust is in your life?  The trust you had as a child that your parents would care for you.  The trust that your spouse, partner, or dear friends would be there for you, even on the bad days. The trust that our political leaders truly have our interests at heart.  We hope, of course, that trust is more than a mere leap of faith.  As Ernest Hemingway said, "The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them." Thirteen-year-old Faith Felder seems to have learned just that at a very young age.   
 

 

This I Believe Rhode Island: Fleeting Moments

Aug 15, 2017

Memories are central to our lives. We seem to need them, sometimes to relive glorious moments, sometimes to process traumatic events, sometimes to separate the wheat from the chaff of our lives.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Choices

Aug 8, 2017

Amidst life's joys – which all of us hope are many – are the inevitable rough patches, intimidating stumbles, and other assorted obstacles. Nobody makes it through this life unscathed, without some significant speed bumps, untimely detours, or worse.  

You know those middle-of-the-night or early-morning awakenings when your senses are unusually sharp? The slightest sounds take on new meaning, or perhaps otherwise fleeting thoughts become intrusive. Solitude and silence, although sometimes disquieting, seem to invite deep reflection and unusually intense awareness. As Henry David Thoreau says in Walden, “I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”  And we hear echoes of these sentiments in this encore essay by Erik Wilker. 

 


Trauma.  Nobody wants it, but it's inevitable that some form of it will show up in our lives along the way.  Accidents.  Broken hearts.  Abuse.  Chronic illness.  The ravages of war.  Under the best of circumstances, we cope with trauma and move on.  And sometimes, the traumatic events teach us life lessons, and as Ernest Hemingway observed, make us stronger in the broken places.  

This I Believe Rhode Island: Recovering from Stroke

Jul 18, 2017

All of us know, at least in an abstract sort of way, that our life's trajectory can change in a moment.  We march along with a compelling mix of poignant and prosaic experiences and challenges, perhaps with a false sense of security that what we have planned for the near and long term will, indeed, come to fruition.  Alas, as so many of us discover, the best laid plans can be dashed in a heartbeat.  The accident no one saw coming.  The job that ends abruptly.  The relationship that sours because of one impertinent, poorly timed comment.  Or the harrowing medical crisis.

Every life has its share of stumbles and false starts.  The dashed dreams.  Accidents.  Faltering relationships. Health crises.  The enduring challenge for all of us, it seems, is to do our best to cope with adversity when it rears its unbidden head. 

This I Believe Rhode Island: Simple Acts

Jul 5, 2017

So many of us yearn for world peace, the end of poverty and homelessness, and universal health care.  This is the stuff of hopeful dreams, and many of us spend our days doing what we can to move closer to these ideals.  Of course, political obstacles, funding shortfalls, and bureaucratic challenges often stymie our best efforts.  But along with our noble pursuits, it seems so important to remember that meaningful change in our world also occurs incrementally, one small step at a time.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Empathy

Jun 27, 2017

Empathy.  It's such a simple word, only seven letters long.  But the concept is so complex.  Is it really possible to truly understand and appreciate another human being's experience?  Is the expression "I know what you're going through" truly meaningful?  Well, even if it's not, isn't it important to do what we can to appreciate other people's experiences, especially when they suffer?

This I Believe Rhode Island: Hamlet

Jun 20, 2017

Imagine yourself as a high school English teacher trying to inspire your students to grapple with the complex nuances embedded in Shakespearean literature.  Not an easy task, you may be thinking.  But as many of us have come to know and appreciate, often decades post-high school, Shakespeare is chock full of profound insights and life lessons, if only we have the patience and persistence to delve into the Bard’s writings.   In this encore essay we hear how English teacher Chris McEnroe brings Shakespeare into his own life, along with those of his students. 

Every life has its share of crises—of course, we hope few in number with lots and lots of time in between.  No one wants it, but some relationships crash to a halt.  Jobs we cherish evaporate.  Physicians share dire diagnoses and prognoses we don't want to hear. When these moments come our way, don't all of us hope that we don't have to suffer the trials and tribulations alone, that people – even total strangers – take the time to care about us, take the time to lend a hand?  Tim Lemire, certainly thinks so. 

 

How often do you catch yourself caught in life's seemingly relentless frenzy, yearning for some respite, a real pause in the midst of the storm that forms as we race to pick up our children, juggle our complex meeting schedule, catch up on the email and text message fire hose, and chase after those pesky deadlines at work?  Sadly, genuinely quiet moments in our lives can seem so elusive and, when we find them, so fleeting.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Generosity

May 30, 2017

Human connection.  Certainly, it can be so very complicated at times, what with our diverse, sometimes colliding personalities, politics, and predilections.  And, yet, often human connection is so basic, so fundamental, so instant.

Life’s trajectory is hard to forecast and, you may have noticed, often harder to control.  There’s that profound Yiddish proverb, “Der mentsh trakht un got lakht. Man plans and God laughs.”  Under the best of circumstances, we figure out a way to cope with the curve balls that life sometimes throws at us.  And some of us do so with remarkable aplomb and grit, which is what we hear in this encore essay from Neil Corkery. 

 

Neil Corkery, a North Kingstown resident, has had a rich career as an educator, human service administrator, and Rhode Island state legislator.

So many of us discover that as we age, time seems to speed up, even though our clocks tick at the same pace.  Haven't all of us heard family and friends exclaim, "Good heavens -- where did the time  go?!" or "It seems like only yesterday when my kids were crawling.  Now they're getting married!"  Indeed, our sense of time does seem to shift as we march through life and accept that passing moments cannot be recovered.  The ancient Roman poet Virgil observed, "Time passes irrevocably."  And isn't it wonderful when a 13-year-old, Claire Fay, appreciates this so early in her life's journey.

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