(WHAS11) - On a bookshelf in my house I have a yellowed, slightly worn book I call my “favorite”.
In bold black letters across the front are these words: This I Believe. I think those three words in that order just might be the most powerful phrase I know. What do we believe? How do those beliefs shape your thoughts and direct your actions?
That yellowed, slightly worn paperback is a gift from my mother many years ago. She seldom missed a chance to encourage her journalist daughter. This I Believe: Written for and with a foreword by Edward R. Murrow was published in 1952. Murrow, the patron saint of American broadcast journalists, started This I Believe as a radio series. People from all walks of life wrote essays for the broadcast.
The Murrow book includes essays from well known names like Helen Hayes and Helen Keller. Keller, deaf and blind since she was a baby, entitled her essay The Light of a Brighter Day. Every essay leaves the reader with something or several things to think about.
Fast forward a few decades to 2003 and a case of the flu. Louisvillian Dan Gediman was looking for something to read while at home with the flu and stumbled across Murrow’s book. Skipping over most of the events that followed, I can tell you Gediman revived Murrow’s essay project and you can now hear new, original pieces on NPR.
So, I was thrilled when Maryhurst told me that Gediman will be our featured speaker at the annual Journey of Hope Luncheon. Last week while talking to Gediman, I learned a lot about the rebirth of This I Believe. It’s now a non-profit organization that gets more than 100,000 essays a year. In fact, the Louisville-based organization hires people just to help read the thousands of essays received each month.
Maryhurst and This I Believe are a perfect fit. For 21 years, I’ve volunteered for Maryhurst and greatly admire the beliefs with which they run their agency. Teenage girls and boys who are deeply troubled because of neglect and abuse often thrive at Maryhurst. Why? Maryhurst believes in unconditional love. Think on that for awhile.
There’s so much more I could say about Maryhurst, Dan Gediman and This I Believe. But I won’t say it all here. Instead, I offer you an opportunity to hear from Gediman yourself.
Dan Gediman extends this offer: if you want to write a full-blown essay and submit it to This I Believe, please do. They’re always looking for more words of wisdom to add to the treasure trove past and present.
I invite you to go to our WHAS11 News Facebook discussions page and tell us what you believe. Read about the beliefs of other viewers while you’re there. You can always reach me on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope to see you at the Luncheon. More information below:
Maryhurst Journey of Hope Luncheon
Sponsored by Brown-Forman & Yum! Brands
Dan Gediman, Executive Producer
Join us as award-winning journalist Dan Gediman, Executive Producer for the popular National Public Radio and book series This I Believe, helps our girls share their own amazing stories of coming to believe in love, hope and commitment after years of neglect, fear and abandonment.
Noon, Wednesday, May 25
Hyatt Regency Louisville
Special Boutique Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Individual Tickets: $60 each
Contact Amanda Shumate at 502.271.4523 or Amanda.Shumate@maryhurst.org to reserve seats.
The People Behind This I Believe
Dan Gediman, Executive Producer
Dan Gediman is a long-time public radio producer whose work has been heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Fresh Air, Marketplace, Soundprint, Jazz Profiles, and This American Life—for whom he produced a profile of his brother, a Tom Jones impersonator, that has quickly become a public radio classic. During his 25-year radio career, Dan has won many of public broadcasting’s most prestigious awards for programs such as Breaking the Cycle: How Do We Stop Child Abuse and I Just Am Who We Are: A Portrait of Multiple Personality Disorder. He also worked with legendary radio playwright Norman Corwin to produce 13 by Corwin and 50 Years After 14 August, which won the duPont-Columbia Award. Gediman’s additional awards include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Gold and Silver Awards and the National Federation of Community Broadcasters’ Silver Reel Award.