The Helpers

In the wake of yet another horrific national tragedy, many people have again been sharing the timeless quote by Mister Rogers about looking for helpers in a time of tragedy.

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.

I think the power of this quote is that it breaks you out of thinking about the tragedy only in terms of the violence and pain. Many people get so caught up in the horror that they don’t see the ‘helpers’ and how perservering the human spirit can be in even the darkest of times. In many ways this makes me think of one of the most inspirational books I’ve ever read, Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.” Frankl was a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp yet managed to find purpose in his situation and not let the horror completely break him.