La Profesora Abstraída

Weblog of Michelle Dion, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, at McMaster University. My blog has moved to Visit my other website.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

NPR's This I Believe

Starting this week, Morning Edition and ATC will be running a series of essays by a variety of listeners regarding faith and their beliefs.

The series is based on a radio series by Edward Morrow in the 1950s. The NPR site has several of the essays and original broadcasts posted online.

They have some nice tidbits. Like this excerpt from an essay by a 16 year-old girl in 1954:
Since revenge and retaliation seem to have been accepted by nations today, I sometimes have difficulty reconciling my moral convictions with the tangled world being handed down to us by the adults. Apparently what I must do to make life more endurable is to follow my principles, with the hope that enough of this feeling will rub off on my associates to being a chain reaction.

Another gem comes from baseball legend Jackie Robinson:
I do not believe that every person, in every walk of life, can succeed in spite of any handicap. That would be perfection. But I do believe-and with every fiber in me-that what I was able to attain came to be because we put behind us (no matter how slowly) the dogmas of the past: to discover the truth of today; and perhaps find the greatness of tomorrow.

I believe in the human race. I believe in the warm heart. I believe in man's integrity. I believe in the goodness of a free society. And I believe that the society can remain good only as long as we are willing to fight for it-and to fight against whatever imperfections may exist.

I can't imagine many baseball players today expressing such thoughtful sentiments.

There's also an essay by President Truman:
I believe a public man must know the history and background of his state and his nation to enable him to come more nearly to a proper decision in the public interest. In my opinion, a man in public life must think always of the public welfare. He must be careful not to mix his private and personal interests with his public actions.

The ethics of a public man must be unimpeachable. He must learn to reject unwise or imprudent requests from friends and associates without losing their friendship or loyalty.

I especially like these suggestions, though I'm not optimistic that many of our current leaders live by them.

posted by Michelle @ 1:23 PM,


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