this I believe

This I Believe Rhode Island: Second Chances

Mar 15, 2016

All of us have had one of those really bad days during the course of our lives -- the kind of day that turns into a genuine nightmare, the kind of day that haunts us until our last breath, the kind of day we'd like to erase from our lives if only it were possible.  If we're fortunate, we figure out a way to move on, and if we're really fortunate, we manage to turn tragedy into a rich collection of compelling lessons that last a lifetime.  And that's what happened with Miguel Rosario.

Miguel Rosario spent his earliest years growing up in the Caribbean and Providence. His passion for photography started in 2009, when he began documenting life in his ancestral Dominican town of Moncion.

  Who doesn't love a good story?  We begin hearing stories when we're tiny children and then develop our own. Sometimes joyful. Sometimes painful.  For most of us, there's a rich and compelling mix. As the poet and writer Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”  And Nancy Jasper feels much the same.

Nancy Jasper is a clinical social worker who has lived in Rhode Island since 1970.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Parents' Journey

Mar 1, 2016

  Last week we heard from an eighth-grade student, Will Malloy, who shared his deeply personal thoughts about his recent decision to transition from female to male.  Will told us about the challenges he faced when he decided to go public, and about the love and support he has received along the way.  This week we hear from Will’s parents – Liz and Steven Malloy – about their own journey.

Liz and Steven Malloy, parents of Will Malloy, live in Warwick.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Acceptance

Feb 23, 2016

  Under the best of circumstances, adolescence can be a challenging time.  Navigating shifting friendships.  Sorting out relationships with parents.  Fantasizing about what the future may hold.  For some, adolescence is also a time to sort out one’s identity in much more fundamental ways that seem so essential, so compelling.  As Ralph Ellison wrote in his novel Invisible Man, “When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”  And we hear echoes of these sentiments from thirteen-year-old Will Malloy.

Will Malloy is an eighth-grade student at the Moses Brown School in Providence.  He lives with his family in Warwick.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Identity

Feb 16, 2016

  The famed writer and poet Gertrude Stein once said, ''Growing has no connection with audience. Audience has no connection with identity." Stein's claim, it seems, is that our true identity is embedded deep within each of us and develops over the years in its own inexorable way. It's a complex, even debatable phenomenon, as Alex Myers knows very, very well.


Before moving to Washington, DC, Alex Myers taught English at St. George's School in Middletown. His first novel, Revolutionary, tells the story of Deborah Samson, who disguised herself as a man and fought in the Revolutionary War.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Kindness

Feb 9, 2016

 Too often, it seems kindness in our world is in short supply.  Politicians take vicious swipes at each other during election season.  Talk-show callers rant on the airwaves.  Irritated drivers share their angry sentiments with, well, you know.  Yet, amidst the angry storms that surround us, there are wonderful, often quiet and poignant moments of kindness – people treating each other with gentleness, compassion, and genuine civility.  Too often these moments get lost in the noisy, chaos, but sometimes the astute among us notice and learn from them, which is just what happened to thirteen-year-old Jessica Kelly. 

Jessica Kelly is an eighth-grade student at the Moses Brown School in Providence.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Climate Change

Feb 2, 2016

Climate change is a hot button issue, that’s for sure. Reputable survey after survey indicate that the majority of people believe that climate change is a serious problem. And then we get to the hard part: what to do about it, and about that there’s less consensus.  But what we do know is that a stalwart group of Rhode Islanders is out in front, taking the lead in remarkably earnest efforts to address this intimidating challenge.  Timmons Roberts couldn’t be more pleased.  As Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”


Timmons Roberts is professor of environmental sociology at Brown University, and helped lead the Resilient Rhode Island team in supporting the passage of the state’s first comprehensive climate change legislation.  In 2016 he’s helping a coalition working on a bill to reduce emissions and create jobs through putting a price on carbon.

This I Believe Rhode lsland: Hamlet

Jan 26, 2016

  Imagine yourself as a high school English teacher trying to inspire your students to grapple with the complex nuances embedded in Shakespearian literature.  Not an easy task, you may be thinking.  But as many of us have come to know and appreciate, often many years 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.   English teacher Chris McEnroe brings Shakespeare into his own life, along with those of his students.

Chris McEnroe has been on the English department faculty at Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts since 2005.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Winter

Jan 19, 2016

  Here we are, right smack in the heart of another New England winter.  For some, this stretch of months with early sunsets is filled with dread -- frosty temperatures, snow piles to shovel, and ice patches to dodge.  But for others of us, this wintry mix is the stuff of pure delight.  As the poet Robert Frost wrote, "You can't get too much winter in the winter."  And we hear similar sentiments from Gabriel Warren.

Gabriel Warren is a sculptor living in both South County, Rhode Island and Nova Scotia, Canada.  Warren works primarily in sheet metals and is especially interested in juxtaposing elements that refer to the natural world and man-made objects.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Normalcy

Jan 12, 2016

All of us have grown weary of the steady diet of dreadful news that saturates radio and television broadcasts, newspaper headlines, and social media alerts: terrorist bombings, mass shootings, gang violence, urban riots.  The list seems painfully unending.  Yet most of us somehow march through our days with a remarkable sense of normalcy and nonchalance, albeit perhaps with at least a hum of anxiety about when the next shoe will drop.  For many, making sense of this stark juxtaposition – the ever-present awareness of international and national horror that sits alongside our relatively prosaic lives – poses an existential challenge, which is certainly the case for Noel Rubinton.

Noel Rubinton, a Brown University graduate, is a Providence-based writer and communications consultant.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Milestones

Jan 5, 2016

As we march through life, most of us develop deeper, richer, and more nuanced insights about what this journey means.  Isn’t it true that, under the best of circumstances, aging brings wisdom, some of which requires that significant portions of our lives are in the rearview mirror?  The poet Mary Oliver wrote, “Instructions for living a life.  Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”  Lifelong Rhode Islander, Jack Partridge, tells us about it.

Jack Partridge, a Providence College and Harvard Law School graduate, has lived in Rhode Island for nearly all of his 75 years.  He is an attorney with the Providence law firm, Partridge, Snow and Hahn.  

This I Believe Rhode Island: Stories

Dec 29, 2015

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: Afterlife

Dec 23, 2015

  In Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town, Emily Webb dies while giving birth and, in the afterlife, gazes upon the earth and utters her compelling and poignant lines: "Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you.  Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? — every, every minute?"   Many of us struggle with the concept of the afterlife.  Will I go to heaven if I live a morally virtuous life?  After I die, will I be able to connect with the people I love?  Is there really a heaven, or is it simply a figment of my imagination?  John Walsh reflects on these enduring existential questions.

John Walsh is a partner in the East Greenwich-based communications firm, Walsh & Associates.  He writes a monthly Op-Ed column for the Providence Journal, which published an earlier version of this essay.  Walsh also shares observations at

This I Believe Rhode Island: Accepting Invitations

Dec 15, 2015

  It’s no secret that growing older can be an ambidextrous experience.  On one hand, aging can be filled with a joyful mix of satisfying moments, astute insights, and exciting new challenges.  And, on that other hand, for many there are the daunting physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges that can burden us during the so-called golden years, which for some aren’t so golden.  

This I Believe Rhode Island: Walden

Dec 8, 2015

  The prolific writings and musings of Henry David Thoreau – the nineteenth-century author, poet, philosopher, and naturalist – cast a very long shadow that reaches deep into our own contemporary lives.  For many of us, Thoreau’s profound reflections, stunning twists of phrase, and keen insights help us make some sense of this remarkably complicated world.  And they have certainly shaped the life of lifelong Rhode Islander 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.