I am considering using This I Believe with my seniors in the Spring. Soon they will be off to college, the military, jobs, or living in their parents’ basements. I find it fitting to end the year with some self-reflection–something that goes beyond the typical narrative prompts of “Write about a time when…” or “Write about your hero…” Those types of ideas have never yielded even mediocre results. Most responses are canned, predictable, impersonal, or lack any emotion.
My hope is that This I Believe will inspire discussion and serve as examples of quality narrative writing. Over the past month, I have slowly picked my way through its pages, reading a few essays in a row, setting the book down, and then going back to it a day or even a week later. This is the beauty of essay collections like This I Believe. Each entry is jam-packed with expression, voice, and beauty,that having a small bite is usually enough to inspire my mind or further thought. Perhaps I will write my own “This I Believe” essay when I finish reading.