Deep core

Like any good National Public Radio (NPR) listener, I’ve been waking up on Monday mornings since last spring to the sound of people’s beliefs. It was 1951 when journalist Edward R. Murrow launched his “This I Believe” project, and it was April 2005 when NPR’s Jay Allison revived it for our benefit. The point of both was to reach out to America, to create a national dialogue about core beliefs.

From Murrow’s time, we heard historic interviews with …

Jackie Robinson: “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.”

Helen Keller: “Faith is not one thing or two or three things. It is an indivisible totality of beliefs that inspire me.”

From modern times, we heard from …

Bill Gates: “I believe that computers are the most incredible tool we can use to feed our curiosity and inventiveness—to help us solve problems that even the smartest people couldn’t solve on their own.”

Studs Terkel: “Einstein once observed that Westerners have a feeling the individual loses his freedom if he joins, say, a union or any group. Precisely the opposite’s the case.”

Something about this project, with its goal of uniting instead of dividing, resonated deeply. So, we determined to bring “This I Believe” home to Sacramento and found the people at NPR to be fully behind the idea. A few months ago, in partnership with Capital Public Radio (CPR), we launched a call for local essays. And they came pouring in. Find some of them in this week’s paper and look for more online at (Our grateful thanks to Joey Garcia, who orchestrated the project. Thanks also to SN&R’s Ric Marques and Kelsey Falle, who developed the Web site.)

But this is not the end of it. SN&R and CPR invite you to write your own essay. We’ll publish and air continuing essays on the last Thursday of the month throughout 2006.

Read. Listen. And get inspired.