(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified Man #1: I believe in adaptation.

Unidentified Female #1: I believe in a silver lining.

Unidentified Female #2: I believe that being flexible keeps me going.

Unidentified Man #2: I believe every single person deserves to be acknowledged.

Unidentified Man #3: This I believe.


As part of our series, This I Believe, educators can go to our Web site, NPR.org, for guidelines on how to use the essays as a teaching tool. Those guidelines have been used in classrooms in every U.S. state and in more than 50 countries. Today's essay comes from one of those classrooms at the Fieldston School in New York City. It was written by 12-year-old Macklin Levine. Here's our series curator, independent producer Jay Allison.

JAY ALLISON: Macklin Levine wrote her essay for her English class last year in sixth grade. She thought of writing about a belief in the value of diversity or in learning from mistakes, but then she settled on a belief, which derives from a moment that sticks with her, a moment tied to her father and to music and memory. Here's Macklin Levine with her essay for This I Believe.

Ms. MACKLIN LEVINE: I believe in The Beatles. Although they don't exist anymore, their music is very much alive, even to a 12-year-old like me. As old as the songs are, you can learn a lot about yourself from the lyrics. Listening to them with others and singing along has been important to me and to my family.

Three years ago, my dog Phoebe ran away near our house in Cold Spring, New York. Every Friday afternoon, we would drive upstate from Manhattan together as a family and dog. My parents never had much music in the car — nothing that we could all agree to listen to except for "Yellow Submarine" by The Beatles.

We were really scared when Phoebe took off, but hoped she'd come back soon. She didn't. My friend's dad hiked into the state park behind our house, miles in, posting signs explaining about our lost dog. A day passed, and still no Phoebe. We called and called into the woods. Next thing I knew, my dad climbed into our station wagon and disappeared.

A half an hour later, I saw the headlights of our car and heard the weirdest thing: loud, loud music. It was nine o'clock at night, my dad's in the car alone, and he's blasting Beatles music. My dad was really smart, probably the smartest one of any of the people looking for Phoebe. But Mom thought he'd lost his mind. Dad explained he figured Phoebe had been in the car with us all those times when we had nothing else to listen to but The Beatles over and over again.

He thought if anything could make her come home, it would be the sound of The Beatles. Phoebe did come home a few days later. It wasn't The Beatles who got her there, it was a sign a neighbor saw and the phone number on her collar. But I think back to my dad playing The Beatles music so loud, we could hear him a half mile across the lake and it makes me smile.

My Dad died a few months after my dog ran away, and when I first wrote the essay I was afraid to say that because I knew I wouldn't be able to read it out loud in class without crying. But now when I think of him, I remember his wacky idea to play the family music and how it made me feel like everything would be okay. The Beatles don't exist anymore, but their music will live in everyone forever. I believe in The Beatles because their music brings people together and gives us hope.

(Soundbite of song, "In My Life")

ALLISON: Macklin Levine with her essay for This I Believe. When she sent us her essay, Macklin included the lyrics for the Beatles song, "In My Life." She said they speak to her.

(Soundbite of song, "In My Life")

THE BEATLES: (Singing) …not for better, some have gone and some remain.

ALLISON: We hope you'll visit NPR.org/ThisIBelieve to see all the essays in our series. You can also find guidelines for using the series in the classroom at all grade levels. For This I Believe, I'm Jay Allison.

(Soundbite of song, "In My Life")

THE BEATLES: (Singing) …in my life I've loved them all. But of all these friends and lovers, there is no one compares with…

HANSEN: Jay Allison is co-editor with Dan Gediman, John Gregory and Viki Merrick of the book, "This I Believe Volume 2: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women."

(Soundbite of song, "In My Life")

THE BEATLES: (Singing) …though I know I'll never lose affection for people and things that went before. I know I'll often stop and think about them, in my life I love you more.

HANSEN: You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.

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