this I believe

All of us have known someone in the midst of deep, relentless despair, someone whose challenges in life seem so intractable, so overwhelming that there doesn't appear to be a way out.  Sadly some people feel so hopeless that their will to live evaporates.  Others somehow manage to move forward toward whatever light glimmers at the end of a long, dark tunnel.  Brian Shanley is living proof of what it means to have hope -- real hope -- in the throes of agonizing anguish.

Brian Shanley grew up in Attleboro, Massachusetts, attended Providence College, and, for graduate school, Salve Regina University, where he now serves as associate dean of admissions.  Shanley lives with his wife and son in Newport, Rhode Island.

The kindness of strangers.  How wonderful it is when, out of the pure goodness of their hearts, complete strangers step in to rescue us in moments of peril.  When it occurs, unvarnished altruism is remarkable.  Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” Bill Miles is here to tell us what it’s like to be on the receiving end of truly extraordinary kindness.

 

Bill Miles, a resident of Seekonk, Massachusetts, is a professor of political science at Northeastern University.  One month before getting his scars in Ouagadougou, his new book on postcolonial legacies, Scars of Partition, was released by the University of Nebraska Press.

 

Parenting is a very tricky proposition, filled with lots of surprises – some pleasant and some, well, not so much . . . surprises that aren’t addressed in the owner’s manual.  Most parents do their best to sort it all out as they go along, hoping their instincts and judgments are good ones or, at least, not disastrous.  Our hope, of course, is that over time our children find a path in life that’s filled with meaning and purpose.  And those are the wistful sentiments we hear from Maryellen Butke.

Maryellen Butke describes herself as an avid political junkie and advocate for education and equality.  Butke advises education philanthropists to enhance their impact.  She and her partner Jo live in Providence with their children Alicia and Matthew.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Creating Beauty

Dec 30, 2014

The famed cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead once opined, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."  Such sentiments often conjure up images of sweeping social change.  But as we hear from Diana Jackson in this encore essay, a small group of committed people can also have a profound impact on the quality of life in our own little corner of the world here in the Ocean State.

Diana Harmon Jackson is an artist, educator, political activist, and, she reports, lover of people, especially kids and older adults. Her passions are family, friends, music, art, and, as we've just heard embedded in her eloquent words, nature.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Everyday Choices

Dec 23, 2014

How many of you feel your senses being assaulted on a daily basis by the distressingly steady and toxic flow of bad news in the world?  international conflict.  Famine.  Natural disasters.  Severe economic downturns.  Heinous crime.  The list goes on and on.  Most of us yearn for peace and safety.  We want tranquility in the small, private corners of our world and in the global community.   Darlene Van Straten shares her very personal insights about this widespread and shared challenge.

Darlene Van Straten is a technical writer who resides in Portsmouth, Rhode Island with her husband, who hails from Puli, Taiwan.

Pages