This I Believe - New England

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 - New England, 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 - New England 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.

Ways to Connect

This I Believe New England: Seeing Clearly

Dec 12, 2017
Scott Indermaur

Most of us have discovered that we can be blindsided by life's unpredictable, sometimes unbidden events: the doctor's diagnosis we weren't expecting, or perhaps the stinging message from a spouse or partner letting us know the relationship is over.  You know the type of news – the kind no one wants to hear.  Yet, sometimes horrific news seems to offer us a meaningful wake-up call, a chance to sort out priorities and put things in perspective.

Scott Indermaur

Sometimes, too often perhaps, it seems impossible to absorb the steady diet of toxic news stories and headlines: mass shootings, deadly hurricanes, horrific droughts, massive wildfires, out-of-control pandemics, and hundred-year floods.  For some of us, it may be tempting to keep the news at bay and retreat into our respective cocoons, out of harm's way – or so we would like to believe.  But don't all of us yearn to keep hope alive somehow, even in the face of what may seem to be daunting odds?

This I Believe New England: Hope

Nov 28, 2017
Scott Indermaur

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 the tune without the words -- and never stops at all."  That's the resounding message we hear from Samantha Andersen.

 

Scott Indermaur

Life is full of contradictions and inconsistencies, often 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.  Beth Taylor reflects on distressingly ambiguous matters of war and peace.

Scott Indermaur

Years ago famed sociologist Erving Goffman wrote about a concept he dubbed "impression management." Goffman's thesis was rather simple, yet quite elegant: People have a tendency to manage the impressions others have of them. Sometimes our efforts are designed to convince other people to like us, hire us, vote for us, marry us, or maybe buy something from us.  The motives we have to manage the way people see us are as varied as the myriad life goals we carry around – some noble and, well, some not.

This I Believe New England: Identity

Nov 7, 2017
Scott Indermaur

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.  Sometimes this journey is relatively smooth.  Alas, sometimes it's not, as we hear in this encore essay by Alex Myers. 

This I Believe New England: Never Too Late

Oct 31, 2017
Scott Indermaur

Have you ever had one of those aha moments when you thought to yourself – or perhaps exclaimed out loud – "I have got to do something different with my life!"  

This I Believe New England: Honesty

Oct 24, 2017
Scott Indermaur

Telling the truth.  The words are so easy to say.  Alas, there are times in life when fulfilling the act is not so easy.

This I Believe New England: Paperbacks

Oct 18, 2017
Scott Indermaur

When Johannes Gutenberg introduced mechanical movable type and the printing press to the world in the fifteen century, he could not have imagined that some 600 years later we would be reading books on digital screens after we've downloaded the tomes using Wi-Fi.  In Gutenberg's day, people had no choice but to turn pages.  Today, we have the option to advance pages electronically, convert text to voice, and conduct instant online word and dictionary searches.

This I Believe New England: Tolerance

Oct 11, 2017
Scott Indermaur

September 11, 2001.  The intense, dramatic images are seared into our collective memory.  Several years later, a proposal to build an Islamic mosque and cultural center on the World Trade Center site ignited a national controversy that has smoldered ever since. Today there are plans to build a 43-story luxury condominium instead.  As we hear in this encore essay by Bill Miles, what has become known as 9/11 has produced a complicated legacy of ideological and political challenges and, most importantly, continues to teach us profoundly important lessons about tolerance.  

 

Scott Indermaur

  

Life, it seems, is so complicated at times that it's tempting to reduce its complexity to truisms, cliches, aphorisms, shibboleths, and platitudes.  This isn't always the result of intellectual laziness.  Sometimes, we reduce complexity to simplicity to avoid feeling overwhelmed, perhaps in a desperate effort to make sense of it all.  But don't we know that to truly grasp life's intricacies, entanglements, and nuances, we need to look through lenses positioned at all of the pertinent angles—admittedly a laborious and time-consuming task?  And isn't that what being thoughtful is all about Mike Fink seems to think so. 

This I Believe New England: You Never Know

Sep 26, 2017
Scott Indermaur

If there's any certainty in life, it may be this: life is uncertain.  Some people with truly dire medical prognoses recover, perhaps for reasons we'll never understand.  You never know.  Some stellar athletes are labeled "can't miss" and then, well, miss.  You never know.  Some students are mired in the academic basement and, to everyone's amazement, blossom and move to the head of the class.  You never know.  Wisdom, it seems, is accepting life's inevitable uncertainty, and learning from the lessons it can teach us about how to live, as we hear from B.J. Whitehouse. 

 

Scott Indermaur

Race in America.  What a complicated issue.  As a nation, we've wrestled with the complex legacy of our treatment of Native Americans, the painful history of slavery, and, more recently, what it means to be a person of color, an immigrant, a refugee.  The public policy implications of our ruminations are so very challenging, ranging from issues of reparations to affirmative action to immigration.  There seems to be no end to controversy, debate, and competing narratives.

Scott Indermaur

It’s no secret that many people struggle in life: job-related problems, relationship challenges, mental health issues, financial uncertainty.  The list goes on and on.  Yet, some people are remarkably resilient in the face of chronic adversity.  Against daunting odds, they manage to flourish amidst nearly overwhelming challenges.  InParadise Lost, John Milton wrote, “Even the demons are encouraged when their chief is ‘not lost in loss itself.”  Noah Kilroy has much to say about coping with adversity and despair and, ultimately, rising from the proverbial ashes.  

 

This I Believe Rhode Island: Honest Talk

Sep 5, 2017

We're born.  We live.  We die.  It sounds so simple, so linear.  We know better, of course.  Much better.  

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