UPDATE: "Love Comes Cropped 3x5" now on ThisIBelieve.org!

Ok, so I wasn't chosen for broadcast, but I still feel like I staked a claim to another infinitesimal corner of the Web today when ThisIBelieve.org informed me my submitted essay is now archived on their site.

Even better, I got an email from them. And though it's a form email, I still feel touched by greatness, much like when Guy Kawasaki followed me on most addictive site ever, just see my sidebar Twitter. Here it is to wit, with my comments in bold brackets:
Dear Julia Rocchi:

Thank you for submitting an essay to This I Believe. [You're welcome! I do what I can.] Your essay has now completed our review process. Though your essay was not chosen for broadcast on NPR [:(], the larger goal of our project is to open a community conversation about belief -- one essay at a time. To that end, we have placed your essay in the This I Believe online database. [This is the Web equivalent of putting "really special" gifts in the closet for safekeeping.][...]

Please don’t consider this in any way a "rejection." [Well, it is, but I'm cool with it. No worries!] Our criteria for broadcast consider many factors beyond subjective notions of quality. We air only a fraction of one percent of those submitted, and we must balance our few selections across themes, perspectives, diversity of sources, and so on. [What?!?! Really?? I'm shocked you don't consider a white middle-class woman's perspective diverse. SHOCKED.]

Though your essay has not been selected for NPR, we are working to find other venues to publish some of the many thousands of essays we have received, including newspapers, podcasts, and local public radio stations. [I love public speaking! Pick me!] Should we find a venue to print or broadcast your essay, one of our staff will be in touch with you. [I won't eat until then. I don't want my mouth to be full when you call.]

We are honored by your having shared your most closely held convictions with us. Thank you, sincerely, for participating in our project. [You're welcome, sincerely. This was a fun exercise to be repeated soon.]

-- The staff of This I Believe [If I cook you dinner, will you change your mind?]
So what have we learned from this little exercise?

1. The folks at This I Believe are predictably gentle and kind.

2. It's worth submitting more, if only to add voice and momentum to the tens of thousands other essays, and to be part of such a deeply felt sociological/anthropological endeavor.

3. Take some time to browse the site. There are some really remarkable pieces up there, like 50 Things I Believe from 6-yo Tarak McLain or Finding the Flexibility to Survive by high schooler Brighton Earley.

4. At this rate, I'll take over the Internets by 3072!!

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