My car radio is tuned to one of our nearby National Public Radio stations — either KANU 95.1 broadcast from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, or KCUR 89.3 from the University of Missouri. I enjoy the programming, especially the on-going features such as “Story Corps”.
From time to time over the last four years, NPR stations have presented short essays in a series called “This I Believe.” These short essays lay out the core beliefs, the basic philosophies that guide the lives of their authors.
For more information on the NPR series, visit their site:
Until very recently, I was not aware that “This I Believe’ originated in the 1950s as a radio program hosted by Edward R. Murrow. Thousands of essays have been written over the years. Although NPR ended its series last year, you can still hear essays through weekly podcasts at the international organization, This I Believe. Many of these inspiring essays have also been collected and organized in book form.
One of these books, What I Believe: On Love, caught my attention recently. What a beautiful Valentine’s gift this would be.
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and you want to find something meaningful for your sweetie, right? This I Believe: On Love is a collection of 60 heartwarming essays that illustrate the many facets of this most fundamental human emotion—from finding comfort in love that never dies, to learning from the love that others model for us, to discovering how to love ourselves. Buy This I Believe: On Love for those you love!
– From This I Believe
I’ve always been a believer — ah! there’s that word — in hands-on experiences. I want to do more than read what others believe. It’s important for me, both as a writer and as a human being, to have an understanding of what my values are. What are the guiding principles by which I live? Where do I find meaning in life? What do I truly believe?
Whenever we sit down and begin a new story, perhaps we should re-visit our core values and beliefs. Like it or not, much of what we believe is going to show through in our work. The essential theme in all our stories will come not so much from who our characters are as from who we are.
Several years ago, I was challenged to answer the question: Why do I write romance? I no longer have the essay I wrote, but my answer was based upon my beliefs about love. I write romance novels because I do believe in love. I believe it is a powerful force for good, a power that can heal, inspire, strengthen, and guide us toward becoming better individuals and toward living richer, fuller, more meaningful lives.
With each story I write, I hope to inspire others to believe in love — love for others, love for the world around us, love for ourselves. They all go hand in hand. I don’t believe we can truly have one without the others.
As the Valentine’s Day holiday approaches, and thoughts of love fill the air, I hope you’ll take a moment to think of what love really means to you. What do you believe about love?