Saturday, May 7, 2011

Helpers -- April, 2011

"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

Fred Rogers was an amazing man and I have quoted him before in my writing. I turned to him once again over these past several weeks to reflect on the meaning of the above quote. Its message gives me hope and helps me focus on positive action rather than fear and helplessness. I have thought about the viewpoint of "looking for helpers" when a catastrophe occurs and found great comfort in the perspective. I have speculated on how impacting being a helper is. Helping is not only being at the site of a disaster it is also doing whatever you can from right were you are.

Helping can constitute many actions. The first and very powerful action to help is immediate prayer and mediation. Pray for understanding, pray for healing and pray for enlightenment.  Another obvious action is to contribute money and time. Yet another way to be a "helper" is to elevate your own expectations of how you interact with your immediate world. Be kinder, laugh more, give more and expect less. Give in whatever way you can. Learn from your mistakes. As we each begin to do so we will create a conscious vibration of leaving behind the past errors and creating a new world where we grow in wisdom through experience rather than just repeating the same old thing over and over again. A gentler, kinder world could begin to flourish.

When I first read the quote by Fred Rogers I remembered my early childhood Catholic upbringing. In the Roman Catholic catechism, the theological booklet given to all young Catholics, we were asked: "Where is God?" The answer: "God is everywhere." I struggled with that answer as I matured and began to question the rote response. How can that be? How could God be in ugly places like war zones and death camps and earth disasters. In reading Fred Roger's recollection of solace from his mother I saw the answer to "Where is God?" in a novel way. God is in the helpers rushing to bring aid when the unexplained, the devastating and the horrible occur. And they are everywhere even in the most awful places and awful times.

We live in a world of Ying and Yang. Nothing exists without its opposite. So just as the world seems to be shearing apart it is also being put back together. Just as life seems to be spinning out of control people are joining together to bring healing and repair.

Acting as a helper takes the courage to remain centered in the belief that love will triumph over evil, that good will win over bad. But rather than spending time in that philosophical debate I prefer to focus on my world and what I can shift and alter. I aspire to stretch farther than I have ever thought possible in order to claim the role as "helper."

Love and light,

I reach out to others with love and kindness, what I do matters.