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Thursday, September 17, 2009

This I Believe - An Invitation

How did you form your opinions on justice, discipline and compassion?  What events shaped your moral and ethical convictions?  In what way did a compassionate teacher, a political leader, philosopher or other individual impact your life and its direction?   Have you ever named your beliefs?

Answers to those questions are the framework for your personal philosophy.   Fifty years ago, a radio broadcast called 'This I Believe'  invited listeners to submit essays on the values that rule their thoughts and actions.  The host, Edward R. Murrow,  stated  “never has the need for personal philosophies ...been so urgent.”  National Public Radio  believes the need now is as great as it was fifty years ago and so teamed with This I Believe, Inc.  to challenge students and their parents to submit their own personal philosophies.

The original invitation defined a personal philosophy as events and relationships within those events that  helped to determine your life's course.  Simply phrased:

1.  Individuals and events create your learning experiences;
2.  From those experiences, you gain knowledge and insight;
3.  By trial and error (often error) you develop a guideline
     for future decisions;
4.  That guideline is your personal philosophy.

Why bother, you ask?  Because a well defined personal philosophy helps you take control of your thoughts and actions.  What you think, you become; so, once you have identified your values and principles, refuse to settle for less.   Your personal philosophy is a collaborative effort--the open source foundation for a successful life.

In the collaborative spirit of open source,   I would like you to join me in this event.   I will be happy to publish your essays here,  and those of school age may submit their essays to This I Believe

The challenge:  Using 500 words or less, define what you believe and why you believe it.  Instead of listing what you do not believe in, the Project asks that you include beliefs or insight about the significance of life, events that shaped your beliefs and relationships to those events.  In other words, make it positive and personal.

More information is available at This I Believe dot org.


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