Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Something I Heard ...

Do you have a few minutes to truly listen to someone who truly has something to say?

Then you may want to tune-in 'This I Believe,' a series of radio essays that can be heard on NPR every Monday morning (on "Morning Edition") and afternoon (on "All Things Considered").

The series is a provocative and profound response to those who have stated time and time again that, "they just don't make radio and television programs like they used to." In fact, it is based on a 1950s radio program of the same name, hosted by acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow. In creating 'This I Believe,' Murrow said the program sought "to point to the common meeting grounds of beliefs, which is the essence of brotherhood and the floor of our civilization."

So what does that mean? A glance at the presentations of the last few months gives some answers ... former U.S. Secretary of State
Colin Powell speaks of a country based on openness, freedom and democracy for its citizens and visitors ... jazz pianist Dave Brubeck tells how he is sustained by his belief that faith in God and love will win over conflict and destruction ... former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich considers the the collapse of thriving civilizations, and how strong leadership can protect America from a similar fate ... and Microsoft founder Bill Gates shares his belief that technology, creativity and intelligence can change the world.

There are many, many more. Not all of them are well-known names ... but each has something of value to say, something worth our hearing and - if not our acceptance - at least our consideration

Also presented, from time to time, are essays from the archives of the original series ... by President Harry Truman, Helen Hayes, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller and Justice William O. Douglas, to name a few.

I know, you're going to point out that there's an abundance of talk radio on the airwaves today ... but this is different. These are people from all walks of life talking to you, not some professional mouth talking (or yelling) at you. These are people who would appeal to your reason and your beliefs, to your mind and your soul, not your gut. These are discussions from people who believe that ideas - not volume or invectives - are the foundation of a discussion.

If you've missed hearing the series on air, you can visit their archives online. Here you can read the words written by this remarkable assembly of contributors, or you can listen to them in the writers' own voices.

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