In introducing the original series, host Edward R. Murrow said, ?Never has the need for personal philosophies of this kind been so urgent.? We would argue that the need is as great now as it was 60 years ago.
For this project, we are also guided by the original This I Believe series and the producers? invitation to those who wrote essays in the 1950s. Their advice holds up well and we are abiding by it. Please consider it carefully in writing your piece.
Be personal: Make your essay about you; speak in the first person. Avoid speaking in the editorial “we.” Tell a story from your own life; this is not an opinion piece about social ideals. Write in words and phrases that are comfortable for you to speak. We recommend you read your essay aloud to yourself several times, and each time edit it and simplify it until you find the words, tone, and story that truly echo your belief and the way you speak.
Fifty years later, NPR and This IBelieve, Inc., are again inviting Americans of all ages and allperspectives to examine their belief systems and then write a 400-500word personal essay.
Youraim for this essay is to make a very great contribution: nothing lessthan astatement of your personal beliefs, of the values which rule yourthoughts andactions.
For this project, we are also guided by the original This I Believe series and the to those who wrote essays in the 1950s. Their advice holds up well. Please consider it carefully in writing your piece.
This I Believe Essay-Writing Guidelines
We invite you to participate in this project by writing your own statement of personal belief. We understand how challenging this is?it requires intense self-examination, and many find it difficult to begin. To guide you through this process, we offer these suggestions:
Yet, these people and many more have all made distinctive contributions of their beliefs to this series. You will hear from that inspiring woman, Helen Keller, who despite her blindness has lived a far richer life than most of us; from author Pearl Buck, sculptor William Zorach, businessmen and labor leaders, teachers and students. Perhaps we should warn you that there is one thing you won’t hear, and that is a pat answer for the problems of life.
In introducing the original series, host Edward R. Murrow said, “Never has the need for personal philosophies of this kind been so urgent.” We would argue that the need is as great now as it was 65 years ago.
Edward R. Murrow hosted This I Believe from 1951 to 1955. The newsman gained acclaimed for his CBS Radio broadcasts from London during World War II. His television documentaries for “See it Now" and “CBS Reports" tackled subjects ranging from Joseph McCarthy to farm worker rights. Murrow died of complications from lung cancer in 1965.
Infact, these Murrow broadcasts were so popular that curriculum was evendeveloped to encourage American students to compose essays about theirmost significant personal beliefs.
Although we are no longer accepting new essays on our website, we thought we would share these essay writing suggestions in case you wished to write an essay for your own benefit. Writing your own statement of personal belief can be a powerful tool for self-reflection. It can also be a wonderful thing to share with family, friends, and colleagues. To guide you through this process, we offer these suggestions:
In launching This I Believe in 1951, host Edward R. Murrow explained the need for such a radio program at that time in American history, and said his own beliefs were “in a state of flux.”
This I Believe is an international organization engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives. Over 125,000 of these essays, written by people from all walks of life, have been archived here on our website, heard on public radio, chronicled through our books, and featured in weekly podcasts. The project is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow.
Don Merwin, Assistant Producer on This I Believe, describes an incident in his life in which many members of his neighborhood gave blood after a terrible accident, and he explains how this event keeps him from despair and gives him confidence in the eventual triumph of peace and human kindness.