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: Say When

Sep 29, 2015

  All of us experience painful losses during the course of our lives.  The beloved family pet who dies after years of comforting companionship.  The dreadful breakup of a decades-long marriage.  The inevitable, but nonetheless agonizing, death of a nurturing parent.  At times these losses seem overwhelming and nearly impossible to bear.  Yet sometimes profound loss opens windows to new and remarkable insights and appreciations.  And that's what we hear from Bev Wright.


This I Believe Rhode Island: Stand For More

Sep 22, 2015

  If we’re fortunate, as we march through life we bump into true inspiration.  Perhaps we’re lucky enough to have a teacher or mentor who points us in directions we never imagined possible.  Or we encounter a toal stranger who, completely unexpectedly, turns our lives around.  Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”  David Mellor shares his thoughts about the truly fortuitous encounter that inspired him.

David Mellor has taught high school mathematics for more than twenty years.

  The natural beauty and challenges that surround us are chock-full of lessons about life's fragility and its complex interconnectedness.  As Shakespeare wrote, "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."  Throughout history, we human beings have tried hard to sort out the kind of relationship we want to have with nature, whether to follow nature's lead or to try to lead nature on our path.  We hear Frederick Thurber's thoughts about this tenuous relationship.

Frederick Thurber grew up in Providence and earned a degree from Brown University in 1983.  For the last 20 years, in his spare time he has written nature and wine columns for local publications.  He currently lives in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

  At some point, most of us face the challenge: caring for an aging, possibly disabled, parent.  For some, this daunting responsibility is not filled with dread but, instead, with generosity of spirit, equanimity and, a peaceful resolve.  But for others, such caretaking is much more complicated, perhaps because of the complex, ambivalent, and conflicted relationships that evolved over the years. We hear from remarkably wise 15-year-old Levi Reyes, who watched the process unfold in his family, and learned so much from it.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Hope

Sep 1, 2015

  Hope.  It's what keeps us going when storm clouds move into our lives, in those darkest moments when there seems to be no glimmer of light.  Hope.  The poet Emily Dickinson said, "Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul -- and sings without the words -- and never stops at all."  And that's what we hear about hope from Samantha Andersen.

Samantha Andersen is an independent educational consultant living in Pawtucket.  After living in various states across the country, she settled in Rhode Island in 2012, and believes that in the Ocean State she has found her "forever home."

This I Believe Rhode Island: Real Girls

Aug 25, 2015

  The 19th-century poet Ralph Waldo Emerson got it right: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”  But, as we all know, such words sometimes make simple what is actually far more complicated.  Being truly unique and sustaining that can be a chronic challenge, especially when the world's voices shout for you to move in a different, more compliant direction.  Going against the tide takes courage, as we hear from eighteen-year-old Grace Miner.

Grace Miner is about to enter her senior year at East Greenwich High School.

  All of us have an overflowing collection of early-life experiences and memories.  Some are glorious and some, well, not so much.  Whether these memories are warm and fuzzy or profoundly traumatic, presumably all of us can reach into the rich assortment and pull out at least a handful of truly formative, perhaps life-altering experiences.  And that's what we hear from Mike Fink.

Mike Fink is an English professor at the Rhode Island School of Design. He has produced columns in a wide range of local and national magazines and earned the Providence Journal's Metcalf Award and the National Conference for Community Justice Award, as well as the Never Again Award for journalism.

  All of us face personal challenges in our lives, some bigger and more intimidating than others.  Some people wear their challenges on their sleeves, and are quite public about, for example, relationship struggles, learning disabilities, mental illness, and addictions.  Others are much more private about the daunting issues in their lives.  Thirteen-year-old Lily Barker has decided that sharing her special challenge is quite liberating.


Lily Barker is about to enter the eighth grade at the Gordon School in East Providence.  She lives with her family in Warren.

This I Believe Rhode Island: The Wild Place

Aug 4, 2015

  The famed cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead once opined, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Racial Identity

Jul 28, 2015

In recent months we’ve been saturated with painful, even agonizing, news of controversial police shootings, urban turmoil, and anger-filled standoffs.  Underneath it all, it seems, are nagging and remarkably complex issues of race.  For many this is the proverbial elephant in the room, although perhaps not the only elephant.  But race is not just a broad, abstract political and social issue.  For so many, it’s a deeply personal issue, as we hear from 13-year-old Rachael Romain.

Rachael Romain recently completed the 7th grade at the Gordon School in East Providence.  She lives with her family in Seekonk, Massachusetts.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Nurturing

Jul 21, 2015

How often do you notice how we're surrounded by nurture?

This I Believe Rhode Island: Chasing Rainbows

Jul 14, 2015

  Many of us moved into adulthood imagining some sort of clear forecast and life plan.  Of course, what many of us discovered along the way is that our journeys rarely unfold in as linear a fashion as we first imagined.  Life is full of unanticipated detours, occasional roadblocks, and, we hope, wondrous surprises and good fortune.  For some, it takes decades of living to appreciate this reality.  And then some of us figure it out rather early in life, as with 14-year-old Jacqueline Faulise.

Jacqueline Faulise recently completed the 7th grade at the Gordon School in East Providence.  She lives with her family in Wickford, Rhode Island.

Life is full of contradictions and inconsistencies, especially in those moments when we yearn for clarity. As the author Scott Turow noted about our efforts to grapple with uncertainty in the stories of our lives, "The purpose of narrative is to present us with complexity and ambiguity."  Issues that appear, at first glance, to be in sharp black and white relief quickly drift into shades of gray. That's what Beth Taylor reflects on with regard to distressingly ambiguous matters of war and peace.

Beth Taylor teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program in Brown University's English Department. She lives in Providence.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Signs

Jun 30, 2015

Many years ago my wife and I took a late afternoon hike in a nearby forest. We sauntered through the dense woods with our then-infant daughter nestled in the pack on my back.  We lost track of time and suddenly noticed that the sun was setting far earlier than we expected.  We were out of infant formula.  Despite our usually reliable sense of direction, we discovered we were truly lost in the forest.  Eventually we found our way out, but not without a sense of panic.  What a metaphor that experience became, teaching me about the profound importance of subtle signs in life’s proverbial forest, instincts shared by John Minahan.

John Minahan teaches English and Psychology at the Lincoln School in Providence.  Minahan is a former professional musician and college instructor who lives in Providence.  

This I Believe Rhode Island: Bluebirds

Jun 23, 2015

Who among us didn’t feel challenged by this past winter’s relentless weather assaults?  The remarkably steady diet of ominous forecasts and their as-advertised aftermath is reminiscent of those chapters in our lives when there’s that steady drip of really bad news, or at least disquieting news.  But haven’t we learned that amidst a steady stream of daunting storms in our lives, often there are remarkably hopeful signs?  That’s what we hear from Lori Ayotte.

Lori Ayotte teaches World Literature and Creative Writing at Sharon High School in Massachusetts. She lives in Cumberland, Rhode Island.