Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Essay featured at This I Believe


In 2005, I took National Public Radio’s challenge to craft an essay of personal belief. The project—This I Believe—was designed around Edward Murrow’s 1950s series of the same title in which he’d featured essays from both leading figures of the times (including Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Albert Einstein) and the everyday person. 

The original program featured nearly 1000 essayists from 1951 to 1954. The goal was a radio program that created a quiet place for reflection, with the hope of strengthening beliefs so lives would be richer, fuller, and happier. 

The revived program ran on-air from 2004 to 2009 and followed the same guidelines as in the 1950s. Essays must be positive, written in first person, and without sermonizing or editorializing. Today, there are more than 100,000 essays archived in their database and they continue to collect essays.


I submitted A Piece of Their Hearts, an essay about what it means to be a neighbor. In late 2006, NPR forwarded it to Iowa Public Radio and I read it on air. This week, my essay is one of five featured in their tribute to farming.  I hope you enjoy it.




The intro: 
October 18, 1995, was a good corn-pickin’ day. The ground was dry and the breeze, pleasant. Most farmers in central Nebraska spent the day in their combines. The farmers in our community, however, drove their combines in my dad’s fields instead of their own. Two months earlier, my father had passed away, and this was the day his friends had chosen to harvest our crop.

Read the entire essay and the thoughts of four other writers here:   


Interested in learning more about This I Believe?  Read their guidelines here; search the database here.