This I Believe; The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women (Holt, 2006) is a collection of very short essays by the famous and the not-so-famous; some from the Edward R. Murrow radio series in the 1950s and some from the National Public Radio series that has just been completed.
Each person has expressed a core belief that is central to his life and the result is inspiring and thought provoking. How would you express your own belief--your own personal values--while avoiding "religious dogma, preaching, or editorializing?"
Here are a few quotes from the book:
I believe that my own good fortune brings with it a responsibility to give back to the world. ~Bill Gates
I believe in the connection between strangers when they reach out to each other. ~Miles Goodwin
I now again believe there is more good than evil; more of those who create, or wish to create, than those who destroy; more of those who love than those who hate. ~Maximilian Hodder (1950 series)
I believe in cultivating hidden talents, buried and unrelated to what we do for a living. ~Mel Rusnov
I believe in getting up in the morning with a serene mind and a heart holding many hopes. ~Carl Sandburg (1950s series)
To imagine that one's own church, civilization, nation, or family is the chosen people is, I believe, as wrong as it would be for me to imagine that I myself am God. ~Arnold Toynbee (1950s series)
...I believe that if enough ordinary people back up our desire for a better world with action, we can, in fact, accomplish absolutely extraordinary things. ~Jody Williams, founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, whose interest in advocacy began with a leaflet on global activism handed to her outside a subway station.
You can read the essays published in the book and many more, and browse the archives of the 1950s series at This I Believe.org, "a public dialogue about belief, one essay at a time." You can also contribute an essay--guidelines are given--and find out how to use these essays in your home, your school, and in your community.