Look for the Helpers

The school shooting in Connecticut is every parent’s worst nightmare made reality.  The deaths of those 20 children and 6 adults have deeply affected us all. The situation is horrific. There are no words to describe the depths of the pain and fear that are evoked when something this awful happens.

There was one thing I read this morning that I felt was worth sharing: words from the late Fred Rogers (better known as “Mr. Rogers” of public television show fame), as quoted by Connecticut meteorologist Matt Scott:

“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.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

Of all the posts I’ve read so far about this awful tragedy, this is the one that brought me comfort.

When we’re assaulted by the realization that there can be such evil in this world, it helps to focus on the good people who are always there to help you. The teachers who risked themselves to save their students’ lives, the cops who rushed in to make the school safe again, the emergency service workers who helped restore order to chaos, and the doctors and nurses who treated the injured.

We can’t stop evil from existing.  But evil can’t wipe out good, either.  Innocent lives were lost yesterday, and for that, we all grieve. Amidst this shared mourning over an act of unimaginable evil, we must also recognize the powerful forces of good that exist in one another.

Do your best to tap into that goodness, and show it more.  Hug your children and show them how much they are loved and cherished. Remind your close friends and family how much you care about them. Do a kindness for a stranger without expecting anything in return. All any of us can do in the face of something like this is to be one of those caring people in the world that helps to heal the pain of others. And that’s what we need most right now.

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