Thirty Things I Believe When Tarak McLain's kindergarten group celebrated their 100th day of class, some kids brought 100 nuts or cotton balls. Tarak brought a list of 100 things he believes. Now a first-grader, Tarak shares his top beliefs about God, life, nature and war.
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Thirty Things I Believe

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Thirty Things I Believe

Thirty Things I Believe

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I: I believe in adaptation.

U: I believe in the silver lining.

U: I believe that being flexible keeps me going.

U: I believe every single person deserves to be acknowledged.

U: This I believe.

LIANE HANSEN, Host:

Our This I Believe essay today is a bit unusual. It was written by a six-year-old. Tarak McLain, who's now at grand old age of seven, wrote about his beliefs last year when he was in kindergarten in Austin, Texas. Here's our series curator independent producer, Jay Allison.

JAY ALLISON: I met Tarak McLain a few months ago at a This I Believe book reading when he handed me his list of a hundred beliefs. He'd written them for the hundreth day of kindergarten when all the kids were asked to bring in a hundred things. There's brought cotton balls, or pecans, or Cheerios. Tarak brought beliefs. He said his mother helped him think about them but all the words are his. He agreed to shorten the list to 30 for the radio. I asked him if he wrote the original list quickly or if he had to think pretty hard.

TARAK MCLAIN: I had to think pretty hard. Well, every day I did two hours of it, and then in all it was six hours.

ALLISON: Was it pretty different from what the other kids did?

MCLAIN: Yes. A lot different.

ALLISON: Well, let's just start right at the top, take your time, and read every one of them.

MCLAIN: OK. Start?

ALLISON: Yeah.

MCLAIN: I believe life is good. I believe God is in everything. I believe we're all equal. I believe we can help people. I believe everyone is weird in their own way. I believe hate is a cause for love. I believe that when I meditate I feel peaceful. I believe I should - we should be generous. I believe brothers and sisters should be kind to each other. I believe kids should respect their parents. I believe I should not whine. I believe people should wake up early. I believe people should go outside more. I believe in nature. I believe people should use less trees. I believe we should help the Arctic and rainforest animals. I believe people shouldn't throw litter on the ground. I believe people should not smoke. I believe God is in good and bad. I believe in magic. I believe people should not give up. I believe love is everywhere. I believe that God helps us to have a good time. I believe that we live best in a community. I believe that we can protect people in danger. I believe we should help the poor. I believe it's OK to die, but not to kill. I believe war should not have started. I believe war should stop. I believe we can make piece.

ALLISON: Tarak McLain with his essay for "This I Believe." Tarak tries to live some of his beliefs. He bags up food to carry in the car to give to homeless people, and has raised money for causes he cares about.

MCLAIN: I've had two fundraisers already, one of them was for a school in Thailand. We raise about $350 for it. And then the other one was for a Honduras school. We sold toys, clothes, and stuffed animals.

ALLISON: If you want to see photos of Tarak and his fundraising events, or if you want to submit your own essay, no matter what your age, visit npr.org/thisibelive.

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

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