It is a near statistical certainty that just about 10 minutes into any crisis of domestic or international proportions, half the people on Facebook will post this quote from Mr. Rogers:
“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.’”
Life has kicked me in the face so many times that it’s managed to turn me into a die-hard optimist; once you’ve hit the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up. And “looking for the helpers” might not cure everything, but it absolutely helps. Seeing people going above and beyond will always give us hope, and even if these stories only distract us for a minute, they’re still worth seeking out for that very important minute. Some of us could use the reminder that joy spreads exponentially, too.
And this week, we’ve been given plenty of opportunities to find the helpers: the ones at the supermarket who pooled their money to pay for a stranger’s groceries. The ones adding a few extra zeros to the tips they leave their servers. The landlords who are telling restaurants to use their rent money to pay their employees instead.
If we keep passing along stories of good folks doing the right thing, it might help inspire others to do the same. Maybe Mr. Rogers wanted us to do more than look for the helpers. Maybe he wanted us to become the helpers, too.