Look For The Helpers

Boston Marathon bombing (NBC Evening News)

Boston Marathon bombing (NBC Evening News)

Soldiers complete Boston Marathon, then rush to help

Soldiers complete Boston Marathon, then rush to help (Yahoo News)

“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.” –Fred Rogers. As the news unfolded in Boston, I thought, Mr. Rogers was onto something.

In my last post I spoke of worrying about my family in Guam (thank you North Korea) and how, like many military families I have met, I didn’t want to watch the news.  I clearly requested, “an outbreak of world peace.” The bombs in Boston are the opposite of this. Clearly, I am not in charge.

Living in NYC, it’s not hard to imagine what the folks in Boston may be feeling right now. But rather than focus on heartache, I am going to follow Mr. Rogers’ advice and look for the helpers. Be inspired by the kindness of strangers. By the first responders who rush in and the everyday people who reach out, whether carrying victims or the thousands who offered their homes to those who were stranded. And, as always, by our troops who help us face every danger near and far. (Update- In the news, we could see many troops or vets simply leaping into action. The yahoo news article captures a few of the ways how.)

I’m going to “fight” this moment by trying to increase the kindness quotient. I especially would like to do something for the family of the 8-yr-old boy, Martin Richard. As I dropped off my 8-yr-old daughter at school this morning, surrounding by the entire 3rd grade, the loss really hit home. I found out a fund has been set up for families and other ways to help here.


At the end of the day, there will always be some things that cannot be destroyed. The strength we give, the love we share, and our ability to help one another through anything are among that which is ever invincible.

© Gina left the mall, 2013

14 thoughts on “Look For The Helpers

  1. The human spirit really is invincible, and recognizing that dimension of ourselves is what makes it possible to process through tragedy without necessarily becoming cynical or distrustful of others.

  2. Yes… look for the helpers. Watching the video feeds, what did I see? Two soldiers rushing forward to dismantle those barricades. Just the sight of them created an island kind of calm assurance in the midst of all that chaos. Their training kicked into gear, they worked together without a word or a glance to each other. These men exuded an “in charge” attitude and they knew exactly how to react. Along with all the other helpers that day they made a difference. I think what other’s do not understand about Americans is that we are not fatalistic and we just don’t give up!

    • I think you’re absolutely right. We do not give up! And when I saw those soldiers rushing forward and others arriving, I felt grateful that they were there to “do what they do.” The lack of hesitation on their part and the others made an incredible impact for the victims. And for the rest of us as well. Because one of the things “helpers” do is to help restore faith and help us be resilient.

  3. The haters we will always have with us, and all the misery they cause. All we can do is keep the flame of love and kindness alive in our hearts, and pass it on to our children and our children’s children. That way we know it will never die out.

  4. Too often we forget about the positive side of things. We can almost always find a positive side of a situation. Thanks for the reminder! Let us not forget!!!!

    • Nana,
      Yes, in scary times it can be easy to miss the good things and people. But when we do see them, the reward is how they lift our hearts. The very fact of their resilient selfless existence is proof that the bad things do not define us. Or defeat us. And that is good to remember.

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