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: 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.

All of us have been caught in the controversial vortex surrounding refugee and immigrant resettlement in the United States.  Public policy, court rulings, and executive orders are crisscrossing in whirlwind fashion, as if on a collision course. 

This I Believe Rhode Island: Immortality

May 2, 2017

All of our lives have defining moments, don't they?  Some make us smile: That first date that led to a life-long romance.  The compelling book we read that altered our life's path.  The chance encounter in a coffee shop that turned out to be step #1 in our satisfying career shift.  Of course, other defining moments are not so cheerful:  That dreaded phone call that delivered bad news about a loved one's sudden death.  The car accident that led to a long, painful stint in the hospital.  The unanticipated pink slip instructing us to clean out our desk by noon.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Against Racism

Apr 11, 2017

It's no secret that all manner of recent news headlines, Twitter messages, and social media video posts have been filled with disquieting, often harsh and vicious epithets, rants, and screeds that have ethnic racial, religious, and gender targets.  

What a remarkable privilege it is when others allow us to enter the most difficult moments of their lives – those moments of anguish for which there are few, if any, words; those moments that seem unending and, sometimes, end badly.  When it happens, thank goodness there are people who care – really care – and do their very best to comfort those who suffer. Rumi, the thirteenth-century Persian Sunni poet, put it so beautifully: "Grief can be the garden of compassion."  And as we hear from Steve Ryan, it's yet another privilege to bear witness to such remarkable caring.    
 

This I Believe Rhode Island: Seasons

Mar 28, 2017

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.

Human relationships begin in so many ways, some remarkably unpredictable.  There's the chance encounter with another art museum patron.  The blind date arranged by your sister.  Or the knowing glance exchanged with a stranger standing across the room at a dinner party.  Some of those connections are fleeting; some morph into lasting relationships.

Have you noticed how easy it is to take for granted the profound impact of the simplest things in our lives that someone, somewhere invented?  

This I Believe Rhode Island: Stories

Mar 7, 2017

Every one of us has a story - make that lots of stories - that define who we are. There are those life-altering events during childhood, perhaps our first love or our first heartbreak, or the stories that come out of our adult lives that are so very complex. Some of us are eager to share our stories with anyone who will listen, but as Bill Harley reflects in this encore essay, others of us are much more quiet about the stories that shape our lives.

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