In 1951 legendary journalist Edward R Murrow sensed the need to help Americans reconnect with their ideals for living in a civil society, so he created This I Believe "to point to the common meeting grounds of beliefs, which is the essence of brotherhood and the floor of our civilization." Murrow believed this could be done through essays expressing a single personal belief shared on the airwaves. The program had an estimated audience of 39 million listeners.
In 2005 This I Believe returned to the airwaves thanks to National Public Radio and independent producers Jay Allison and Dan Gediman. Essays received from listeners and other contributors appear on NPR's website. The book version, based on the National Public Radio segments, reproduces the life-mission statements of people both unknown and famous.
"I believe that man's noblest endowment is his capacity to change." Leonard Bernstein
"I am happier when I love than when I am loved." Isabel Allende
"I believe in the power and mystery of naming things." Eve Ensler
"There is no job more important than parenting." Benjamin Carson
"I believe there is strength in surrender." Mary Cook
"Knowledge is marvelous, but wisdom is even better." Kay Redfield Jamison
"I believe in the pursuit of happiness, not its attainment, nor its final mission, but its pursuit." Andrew Sullivan
"I believe that the wonder of discovery can lift the spirit." Broam Greene
What do you believe? What were your greatest influences in shaping those beliefs? How have your beliefs changed throughout your life?