Frederic Reamer

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: Truth

Apr 25, 2017

It sounds a little too much like an essay question on a college application: "Please identify a book that has changed your life. Discuss." The truth is, most of us can identify a book that has changed our lives in profound ways. 

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.

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.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Education

Mar 1, 2017

All of us know in an abstract sort of way what a difference education makes.  Education fills our heads with wonderfully inspiring ideas.  Education prepares us for vocations and avocations.  Education is the ticket to freedom, and so much more.  John Dewey, noted philosopher and educational reformer, had this to say: "Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself."  Seasoned educator Kyleen Carpenter has seen impressive evidence of this up close and personal.
 

The most fortunate among us manage to find a truly good friend or two early in life who stick with us for decades, through all the inevitable thick and thin moments.  These are the friends we can call at 2:00 in the morning if need be, the friends whose sentences we can finish, the friends whose arms provide solace during difficult times, and whose tears of joy during the sweetest times of our lives make them that much sweeter.  Thomas Aquinas wrote, "There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship."  As we hear from Maureen Nagle, these are the friends we need to be with when it matters most. 

It's no secret that life doesn't always unfold the way we'd like.  During our childhoods, most of us imagined a future full of nurture and promise, replete with the hard earned fruits of our labor.  For some, those proverbial dreams come true; alas, for others these youthful hopes and dreams are dashed along the way.  Life happens, and it's not always a pretty picture.  Some how, some way, some of us, like high school student Erin Spitznagel, manage to move past the challenge with remarkable resilience and fortitude.  
 

 

This I Believe Rhode Island: Signs

Feb 7, 2017

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.  And, we were low on infant formula.  

Those of us who have been blessed with long-term marriages or partners often wonder what life will be like if we outlive our mate.  

Life is so full of mystery and wonder.  Isn't it humbling when four-year-olds ask questions that are so hard to answer?  How is it that every spring, like clockwork, a woodpecker shows up at the same tree, letting us know the season has arrived?  How does an infant's brain begin to acquire language?  Is it possible that a person's soul continues to exist after death?  Perhaps we'll never be able to answer such questions adequately. Sandra Enos shares her poignant insights about managing life's enduring conundrums.   
 

 

Pages