Thursday, July 28, 2011
This I Believe about "This I Believe"
This I Believe awed me. Or more specifically, its contributors awed me. To communicate a deeply-held belief in 500 words or less is a daunting task. We all know how hard it is for me to write blogs that concise, and none of mine come close to conveying a profound belief.
This I Believe challenged me. It forced me to read and consider other points of view. Lots of points of view. Many with which I do not agree.
That is its beauty. And among the political and religious there are essays about jazz and barbeque, feeding monkeys, barbies and baseball. The first essay, titled “Be Cool to the Pizza Delivery Dude,” made me physically shake my head in agreement. Surprisingly, though, I was not impressed with Helen Keller’s essay -- I found it vague and cliche -- and she is one of my all-time favorite fascinations.
This I Believe changed me. Corny, yet true. When my friend Mica and I compare favorites, we differ drastically. Which isn't surprising, considering she's on the opposite end of that spectrum I mentioned. Yet we can agree on a few. That is its beauty. We all have common ground; we just need to push within ourselves to find it. Consider what the other person has to say. As someone who hates funerals and does anything to get out of going to one, I didn’t much expect to agree with Deirdre Sullivan’s essay, “Always Go to the Funeral.” Yet her argument was compelling, and I will forever think of her words when faced with that decision. This I Believe taught me to listen, to open my mind -- when I considered myself a pretty open-minded person before.
In the coming months I'll attempt to write my own This I Believe in 500 words or less. As for the book, everyone should pick up a copy -- or at least visit the web site -- and do what I’ve done. Try to find a thought, a sentence, in each essay that you can agree with. It'll be the start of something wonderful. This I believe.