Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Faith isn't just for conservatives, December 22, 2006
This review is from: This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women (Hardcover)
I like the extensive mixture found here. Among the essayists are Leonard Bernstein, Warren Christopher and Bill Gates - as well as pediatric psychologist Debbie Hall, astrophysicist Allan Lightman, restaurant critic Jason Sheehan, retired elementary school teacher Ruth Kamps and part-time hospital clerk Jackie Lantry.

The book's dust jacket says it's "a stirring and provocative trip inside the minds and hearts of a diverse group of people whose beliefs - and the incredibly varied ways in which they choose to express them - reveal the American spirit at its best."

My hope is that readers will not only find delight and encouragement in these readings but will be prompted to share their own personal philosophies. Everyone has them. They're the core set of beliefs which form the lens by which people view the world.

The reality is, most people live by a set of beliefs they would have a hard time identifying. And even if they could articulate them, many would not want to hold them out to scrutiny. Yet, the effort and risk seems very much worth it all. This is what the authors in this book have done. They've shared what is most personal - and unfortunately for many people, most private.

If through dialog and discussion we understand each other better, then this is a much needed book. It's a view into our humanity and the very condition of our culture.

Furthermore, it seems we refine our beliefs through sharing them, and hearing viewpoints which differ from ours. If we are all on a process of discovery then we should not only be reading about what others believe, but talking about these things with those in our communities. I'd suggest this book is step in doing that. Lastly, if truth exists, then humility regarding my beliefs is certainly a virtue. If there's something I currently believe which isn't true, I want to know it. And that's the challenge of viewing my own and other's beliefs (including those in this book) with a perspective of care and evaluation.

I wish the book had included an outline for identifying a person's own beliefs. Maybe questions like this could have been included.

- What does it mean to be human?
- What is best in this world?
- What is worth aspiring towards?
- Why are we here?
- How should we live?
- Where did we come from?
- Where are we going?
- What happens if we're wrong?
- What's reliable?
- How can we know?
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Location: Colorado ^^^

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