Look For The Helpers

There always seems to be too much bad news. Too much focus on the negative. Most people agree that the news media sensationalizes the worst in humanity. Earlier this month, there was a lot of focus on Charlottesville, Virginia and the horrible demonstrations of hate and white supremacy. Since then, there have been more protests, counter protests, provocative headlines, and way too many examples of hate, bias, and intolerance.

Currently, stories and images of flooding, wreckage, loss, and death are plastered among headlines and social media posts. Hurricane Harvey hit Texas harder than anyone imaged and thousands of people have lost their homes, their belongings, and in some cases, their loved ones. It is difficult to take in all the destruction left in Harvey’s wake.

Under these circumstances, I sometimes find it difficult to focus. Life seems depressing and slightly overwhelming. I don’t feel motivated to write because other things seem so much more important. Luckily, I have a coping strategy.

In times like this, I turn to Fred Rogers for guidance. In my opinion, Fred Rogers, (or Mr. Rogers as many of us remember him), was the perfect model of a kind, caring, and thoughtful man. He was the most gentle of gentlemen. He was wise and compassionate. Through his television show and his books, he impacted the lives of many people like me who watched and admired him. Without a doubt, a simple lesson he shared with the public has helped me throughout my life.

Fred Rogers said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” He encouraged news stations and the media to do a better job showing the helpers instead of focusing solely on disasters and catastrophes. He sought a balance between good and bad news.

During the terrible protests in Charlottesville, I saw helpers. People from all walks of life joined together to send messages of harmony, love, and peace. For every rally based on hate, there has been a counter-rally of helpers that disavow hate, ignorance, and violence.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, I see helpers. It is easy to find touching stories and powerful images of helpers. This is also your opportunity to be a helper. There are endless ways to support those who have been affected by the hurricane. Lending a hand and finding a way to help will make you feel better. Helping is the best way to cope with the news and the feeling of being overwhelmed.

So when you feel down or overwhelmed, remember Mr. Roger’s and his mother. When you see children struggling to make sense of what is happening around them, share this empowering message. Whenever you feel the need, you can listen to Mr. Roger’s soothing voice and his important reminder, “Because if you look for the helpers, you’ll know that there’s hope.”

By |2017-08-31T00:37:59-05:00August 30th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , , |4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Rozy August 31, 2017 at 7:26 am - Reply

    Thank you for these words of comfort and inspiration, Laura. It makes me remember that I can actually do something rather than just feel sad and overwhelmed into a catatonic state.

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  2. David September 1, 2017 at 6:23 am - Reply

    Love your neighbor as yourself. A summary of ancient law that still holds. Thank you, helpers.

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  3. Steve September 1, 2017 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Well said Laura. This is my favorite post so far. The media focuses on the 10% that’s wrong with the world, when I truly believe that 90% is going pretty good. Most people are not robbed, killed, or attacked in their daily lives. Instead, most people go about their day trying to be kind to one another. I truly believe that the world continues to become a better place, maybe a little slower than one would like, but it certainly is getting better. Just look back 25, 50, or 100 years. I recently made a conscientious decision to stop reading the news because it is always focused on the negative and just depresses me. Instead, I now search google for “good news” regularly and I find stories every day that lift my spirits and give me hope for a great future. I am sure that for every bad person, there are thousands, millions of good people out there who are an amazing inspiration. News should be 90% inspirational and treat the negative 10% as abnormal, unusual occurences. Finally, I rarely type comments on sites, but your article really resonated with me and I was very glad to see it today. You made my day! Keep up the good work!

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