this I believe

This I Believe New England: A Surprising Teacher

Sep 18, 2018
SCOTT INDERMAUR

Life’s most important lessons come our way from so many sources and directions, often when we least expect them.  Some of the lessons we learn are predictable, say when we park ourselves in lecture hall seats.  Others are much more spontaneous and unanticipated, often in delightful ways.  The chance encounter with a sage seatmate on an airplane flight who shares what she’s learned about aging gracefully.  The person standing behind us in the supermarket checkout lane who waxes philosophically about life’s enduring riddles.

This I Believe New England: Grieving

Sep 11, 2018
SCOTT INDERMAUR

All of us experience loss during our lives.  That’s inevitable. Cherished pets die.  Longstanding friendships rupture. Beloved jobs end.  People relocate and say goodbye to communities they adore.  Every loss matters, of course, no matter the depth.  But it seems fair to say that some losses are much harder to bear than others.  For many of us, the loss of a parent – whether through death, abandonment, an adoption plan, or alienation – is among the hardest to accept.

This I Believe New England: Genuine Heroes

Sep 4, 2018
Scott Indermaur

If we’re fortunate, we have genuine heroes in our lives.  Some of our heroes may be extraordinary, people whose spectacular feats defy comprehension, perhaps a citizen who risked her life to save total strangers from a burning house, or navy seals who rescued children trapped in a remote cave.  Sometimes heroism is much more quiet and understated – ordinary people who go about their daily lives with earnest dedication, answering the call of duty without fanfare.  As Patty Higgins notes, sometimes we find out about inspiring heroism in unlikely places.  

 

This I Believe New England: Gravestones

Aug 28, 2018
Scott Indermaur

Perhaps most of us have spent some time anticipating our own deaths, our own mortality.  Maybe these are but fleeting moments, or maybe not.  Have you ever pictured the gravestone meant for you, and what it might mean to those who visit your grave site?  For many of us this may be a macabre subject, one that’s hard to embrace.  But as we hear from Nicholas Benson, gravestones can host profound messages that convey so much about the stories of our lives – who we were, what we aimed to be, the very essence of our being. 

 

Scott Indermaur

"There but for the grace of God go I." Now there's an expression we've all heard, commonly attributed to the 16th century English reformer John Bradford, among others.  The message, of course, pertains to situations where we find ourselves better off than those we encounter.  Indeed, life produces so many circumstances where we witness the profound suffering of others: the victim of a horrific accident, the neighbor whose house was consumed by fire, the person at the stoplight who's homeless.

This I Believe New England: Border Crossings

Aug 14, 2018
Scott Indermaur

Many of us have had the opportunity and privilege to travel internationally.  Crossing borders – where we come face to face with unfamiliar languages, foods, and time-honored customs – can be both wonderfully exciting and intensely unnerving.  The joy of discovery can be tempered by some fear of the unknown.  What are the right words to use to communicate basic messages?  What if I say the wrong thing?  How will I handle it if I become lost?  What does it mean in this country when I shake my head sideways?  Under the best of circumstances, border crossings can be a real challenge.

Scott Indermaur

Former Rhode Islander and noted author Jhumpa Lahiri wrote this wonderful line in a column she penned for the New York Times: "The first sentence of a book is a handshake, perhaps an embrace."  What Lahiri seems to be saying is that introductions matter, especially when we embark on an intense relationship, whether it be with a book or a person.  All of us march through life filled with opportunities to make first impressions.

This I Believe New England: Revision

Jul 31, 2018
Scott Indermaur

In Plato's Apology, Socrates asserts that the unexamined life is not worth living. While that may be a bit of an overstatement, many of us have learned during the course of our lives that self-examination that has real depth is a virtue that pays impressive dividends. 

This I Believe New England: Power of the Pearl

Jul 24, 2018
Scott Indermaur

Have you ever owned a talisman, a lucky object that seems to have magical powers?  Perhaps talismans are mere figments of our imagination, or maybe, just maybe, there's really something to them.  For some of us, a talisman ties us to the most important people in our lives, especially in difficult moments.  The famed suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote, "Love is the talisman of human weal and woe—the open sesame to every soul."  And sometimes a talisman can help us appreciate the deepest connections in our lives, which is what we hear from thirteen-year-old Courtney Boghosian. 

This I Believe New England: Persistence

Jul 17, 2018
Scott Indermaur

Life is both fragile and unpredictable.  That we know.  No doubt all of us have dear friends and relatives whose lives changed in a flash as a result of a serious accident or health trauma.  Or maybe it's our own lives that pivoted without even a moment's notice.

This I Believe New England: Diversity

Jul 10, 2018
Scott Indermaur

What is it that draws so many of us to the Ocean State and keeps us here, even when opportunities elsewhere beckon?  In a word, community.  Somehow Rhode Island’s intimate and quirky scale, its mix of neighborhood and neighborhood characters – even with their sometimes rough edges – manage to pull us in and get ahold of us, a bit like flypaper.  For so many of us, Rhode Island’s complex richness seeps into our bones and, even with all its challenges, becomes part of who we are.  And that’s just what we hear from Karen Lee Ziner. 

 

Scott Indermaur

How often do we stop and notice – really notice – the symbols and structures that surround us and shape our understanding of the world?  

This I Believe New England: Spreading Hope

Jun 26, 2018
Scott Indermaur

Hope, true hope, can be so elusive.  The most fortunate among us are able to find it and hold tight, especially during life's inevitable moments of despair.  For some of us, hope is fleeting, slipping through our fingers much too fast.  For others, hope lingers and sustains us as we muddle through life's challenges.  In her book Animal Dreams, Barbara Kingsolver wrote “The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope.

This I Believe New England: Facing Demons

Jun 19, 2018
Scott Indermaur

How many of us have been tempted to rush to judgment when we come upon displays of ugly behavior, whether on the smartphone or television screen, during radio broadcasts, or up close and personal in our daily encounters?  We may wince when a spokesperson for the opposing political party opines in ways that seem completely irrational and designed to obfuscate.  Maybe we shriek when we're cut off by an aggressive driver, or curse when a neighbor blasts heavy metal music late into the night.

This I Believe New England: Living After Loss

Jun 13, 2018
Scott Indermaur

Those of us who have been blessed with long-term marriages or partners often wonder what life will be like if we outlive our mate.  Will I ever know happiness again? Can I survive on my own, without those all-too-familiar glances, comforting words, and embraces?  Might life lose its meaning?  Somehow, some way, most people manage to cope.  The gifted writer Anne Lamott put it so beautifully: "You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news.

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