Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Salon: This I Believe

Tonight I finished This I Believe, an inspiring and fascinating collection of essays covering a range of topics that fall under human beliefs. The many contributors to this book touched courageously and candidly upon their own varieties of faith -- faith in America, faith in humanity, faith in the future, faith in the higher powers that be, even faith in barbecue, and more -- personalizing these beliefs sometimes through story or anecdote.

The writers of these brief, 100-word essays hail from different age groups, geographic locations, ethnicities, religions, genders and races, with both famous and obscure names.

I enjoyed reading each and every one of them, but the ones that most spoke to me were:

Pages 40-42 - "Good Can Be as Communicable as Evil," by Norman Corwin
Pages 80-83 - "The Connection Between Strangers," by Miles Goodwin
Pages 90-92 - "Disrupting My Comfort Zone," by Brian Grazer
Pages 126-128 - "The Benefits of Restlessness and Jagged Edges," by Kay Redfield Jamison
Pages 159-161 - "The Joy and Enthusiasm of Reading," by Rick Moody
Pages 171-174 - "Mysterious Connections That Link Us Together," by Azar Nafisi
Pages 178-180 - "We Are Each Other's Business," by Eboo Patel
Pages 181-183 - The 50-Percent Theory of Life," by Steve Porter
Pages 204-206 - "The Artistry in Hidden Talents," by Mel Rusnov
Pages 247-249 - "How Do You Believe in a Mystery?" by Loudon Wainwright III

I found myself stirred to examine my own beliefs, to see if I could encapsulate them within such a small span of verbiage myself, after having read the heartfelt statements of so many other people. Because I'm feeling too lazy to explain the entire project, check out the associated site, This I Believe, to craft your own story, bring this project into your community, read and search for more essays, or listen to podcasts.


Clare said...

This sounds like a very interesting idea - particularly the way everyone has to be so succinct. Going to check out the link now. Thanks.

Wendy said...

Thanks for sharing this - it sounds fascinating!

Laura said...

I occasionally manage to catch one of these essays read on NPR's All Things Considered. Like you, some "grab" me more than others, but every one makes me stop and think.