KUHF-Houston Public Radio's "This I Believe" with Emily Shearer

The native of North Carolina has lived in Houston with her husband for five years. They have three children and Emily is a stay-at-home Mom. Her little ones are the inspiration for her essay for KUHF's This I Believe.
Emily and her husband have lived in several places because of her husband's work with Exxon-Mobil. That's what brought them to Houston. Emily still calls North Carolina home because that's where her parents live and it's where her roots are.

Emily enjoys writing and she enjoys keeping a journal. She says the process of writing her essay for This I Believe was an enjoyable one. She also discovered how challenging it is to encapsulate one's deep beliefs in a 450 word essay.

Emily has a bachelor's degree in French and she may be able to one day blend her passion for writing with her love of the French language.

Here's Emily Shearer with her essay for KUHF's This I Believe.
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"I believe that children rise to the level of our expectations but what we expect from them, we must demand from ourselves. We must embrace optimism and learn new. This, I believe, takes courage. Learn courage new, too.

Children cry when they are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Adults, too. Listen new to all the ways people around you are crying. Then bake cookies. Give blood. Buy what the neighborhood kids are selling. Let them keep the change and the faith. Expect them to thank you.

My children may never find their words to thank me for teaching them to run. I didn't. But I like to believe that I taught them what the courage to run looks like.

Right after I was born, doctors performed operations to correct a left clubbed foot. Without those procedures, I probably wouldn't be able to walk. Now I can walk for miles, but usually not without pain. I never, ever thought I would be a runner.

Two years ago, I decided to try. At first, I had to quit at the end of my block. It hurt, but I didn't give up. I set a goal, then exceeded it. With a sore left foot, and a lot of pride, I ran three miles!

Now I run every week. It still hurts, but the pain reminds me of what I had to overcome. I believe that we will never know how far we can go until we look back and see how far we've come.

Recently, my daughter broke her arm and endured excruciating pain. Maya is a beautiful child with a giggle like angels' wings. She was late to walk and talk; schoolwork doesn't come easily to her. She's been in and out of therapy, and tested for everything under the sun. She wants to take piano lessons. She really wants a kitten.

As I watched her maneuver her cast, I was astounded by the courage and heart with which she performed simple tasks. On the day she got the cast off, she proclaimed, "I got my arm back!" She had surmounted yet another challenge with the grace of a champion. Maybe she inherited that undauntable spirit from me, maybe not.

Yes, I believe we can learn from children to rise to the level of the world's expectations.

And we, as adults, must expect new. Run a little farther, and listen for the laughter of the angels."
Bio photo of Paul Pendergraft

Paul Pendergraft

Artistic Advisor

Paul Pendergraft is KUHF-Houston Public Radio’s Senior Producer for News & Public Affairs...