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Free Minds And Hearts At Work Essay Examples

In 1947, Jackie Robinson pioneered the integration of American professional atheletics by becoming the first black player in Major League Baseball. Bob Sandberg/Library of Congress hide caption

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Bob Sandberg/Library of Congress

This essay aired circa 1952.

At the beginning of the World Series of 1947, I experienced a completely new emotion, when the National Anthem was played. This time, I thought, it is being played for me, as much as for anyone else. This is organized major league baseball, and I am standing here with all the others; and everything that takes place includes me.

About a year later, I went to Atlanta, Georgia, to play in an exhibition game. On the field, for the first time in Atlanta, there were Negroes and whites. Other Negroes, besides me. And I thought: What I have always believed has come to be.

And what is it that I have always believed? First, that imperfections are human. But that wherever human beings were given room to breathe and time to think, those imperfections would disappear, no matter how slowly. I do not believe that we have found or even approached perfection. That is not necessarily in the scheme of human events. Handicaps, stumbling blocks, prejudices — all of these are imperfect. Yet, they have to be reckoned with because they are in the scheme of human events.

Whatever obstacles I found made me fight all the harder. But it would have been impossible for me to fight at all, except that I was sustained by the personal and deep-rooted belief that my fight had a chance. It had a chance because it took place in a free society. Not once was I forced to face and fight an immovable object. Not once was the situation so cast-iron rigid that I had no chance at all. Free minds and human hearts were at work all around me; and so there was the probability of improvement. I look at my children now, and know that I must still prepare them to meet obstacles and prejudices.

But I can tell them, too, that they will never face some of these prejudices because other people have gone before them. And to myself I can say that, because progress is unalterable, many of today's dogmas will have vanished by the time they grow into adults. I can say to my children: There is a chance for you. No guarantee, but a chance.

And this chance has come to be, because there is nothing static with free people. There is no Middle Ages logic so strong that it can stop the human tide from flowing forward. I do not believe that every person, in every walk of life, can succeed in spite of any handicap. That would be perfection. But I do believe — and with every fiber in me — that what I was able to attain came to be because we put behind us (no matter how slowly) the dogmas of the past: to discover the truth of today; and perhaps find the greatness of tomorrow.

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 — and to fight against whatever imperfections may exist.

My fight was against the barriers that kept Negroes out of baseball. This was the area where I found imperfection, and where I was best able to fight. And I fought because I knew it was not doomed to be a losing fight. It couldn't be a losing fight-not when it took place in a free society.

And in the largest sense, I believe that what I did was done for me — that it was my faith in God that sustained me in my fight. And that what was done for me must and will be done for others.

 http:gmarlowe.weebly.com

This I Believe... what do YOU believe???

Based on a 1950’s radio program of the same name, Americans from all walks of life share the personal philosophies and core values that guide their daily lives through National Public Radio's "This I Believe." (npr.org) We will join in with this decades-old program to share what we believe. What do you believe? In your heart of hearts, when you strip away the outer husk, what do you truly believe? What could you possibly write about that would express what you believe...?
Tell a story: Be specific. Take your belief out of the ether and ground it in the events of your life. Consider moments when belief was formed or tested or changed. Think of your own experience, school, church and family, and tell of the things you know that no one else does. Your story need not be heart-warming or gut-wrenching—it can even be funny—but it should be real. Make sure your story ties to the essence of your daily life philosophy and the shaping of your beliefs.
Be brief: Your statement should be between 350 and 500 words. That’s about three minutes when read aloud at your natural pace. Name your belief: If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, your essay might not be about belief. Also, rather than writing a list, consider focusing on one core belief, because three minutes is a very short time.
Be positive: Please avoid preaching or editorializing. Tell us what you do believe, not what you don’t believe. Avoid speaking in the editorial “we.” Make your essay about you; speak in the first person.
Be personal: Write in words and phrases that are comfortable for you to speak. We recommend you read your essay aloud to yourself several times, and each time edit it and simplify it until you find the words, tone, and story that truly echo your belief and the way you speak. In introducing the original series, host Edward R. Murrow said, “Never has the need for personal philosophies of this kind been so urgent.”We would argue that the need is as great now as it was 50 years ago. NPR is eager for your contribution. Try reading or listening to these essays by children, teens, and adults as they express what they believe.
Sample Essays
Race … “Being Content with Myself”  “Why don’t you act black? Since my middle school years, I’ve been asked this question more than any other… and from Jackie Robinson "Free Minds and Hearts at Work."
Sports… “The Freedom of Baseball” “I believe in baseball. I believe in the strength it takes to…”
Duty ... "A Duty to Family, Heritage, and Country" "I am a good child, obendient. I grew up in China, a country where education is ..."
Kindergarten beliefs ... "Thirty Things I Believe" ... written by a kindergartenerThe lessons of poverty ... "Finding the Flexibility to Survive"Addiction… “The Choice to be Stronger”  A time when "what doesn't kill you will make you stronger' has unintended meaning...

Essay Requirements  Honors: 350 to 500 words, one-inch margins, TNR (Times New Roman), double spaced, header formatted with three lines of information aligned to the right. The header is to include these lines: 1. First and last name 2. Date 3. Course name. 4. Assignment
Unit Writing Lessons
1. Discussion about essays vs. memoirs vs. personal narratives
2. Terms review: purpose, tone, audience,  narrator, point of view, figurative language, imagery, sentence variety, flow, transitions, theme, subjective vs. objective.
3. What do you think? Do you "agree" or "disagree" with the statements from our gallery walk.
4. We will create webs for our brainstorming.
5. We will then add structure and sequence to our ideas by creating an outline or ordering our web items.
6. We will then review what a successful lead/hook is and how to write an effective lead.
7.  We will discuss the importance of strong word choices and transitions.
8. We will then write our rough draft.

9. We will then edit and proofread our drafts.
120. We will then make any needed changes and submit a final draft.


This I Believe
Essay-Writing Tips

Tell a story: Be specific. Take your belief out of the ether and ground it in the events of
your life. Consider moments when belief was formed or tested or changed. Think of your
own experience, work and family, and tell of the things you know that no one else does.
Your story need not be heart-warming or gut-wrenching – it can even be funny – but it
should be real. Make sure your story ties to the essence of your daily life philosophy and
the shaping of your beliefs.
Be brief: Your statement should be between 400 and 500 words. That’s about three to four
minutes when read aloud at your natural pace.
Name your belief: If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, your essay might not be
about belief. Also, rather than writing a list, consider focusing on a core belief, because
a few minutes is a very short time.
Be positive: Please avoid preaching or editorializing. Tell us what you do believe, not
what you don’t believe. Avoid speaking in the editorial “we.” Make your essay about
you; speak in the first person.
Be personal: This is radio. Write in words and phrases that are comfortable for you to
speak. We recommend you read your essay aloud to yourself several times, and each
time edit it and simplify it until you find the words, tone and story that truly echo your
belief and the way you speak.
Tips from the original series on National Public Radio: It may help you in formulating your credo if we tell you also what we do not want. We do not want a sermon, religious or lay; we do not want editorializing or sectarianism or
'finger-pointing.' We do not even want your views on the American way of life, or
democracy or free enterprise. These are important but for another occasion. We want to
know what you live by. And we want it terms of 'I,' not the editorial 'We.' But we do ask you to confine yourself to affirmatives: This means refraining from saying what you do not believe.


The Five Parts to your efforts:
1. Prewriting activities 
2. Brainstorming web
3. Ordered web or outline
4. Edited/proofread rough draft
5. Final draft



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