The world is filled with negativity, and it is easy to become discouraged by the constant barrage of negative news. However, in the midst of all the negativity, there are still helpers, people who bring hope and light to difficult situations. Fred Rogers’ mother once advised him to “look for the helpers” in times of distress, and this advice can help us all.
Look for the Helpers
When faced with negativity and suffering, it can be difficult to find hope. However, if we consciously look for the helpers, we will always find them. Helpers are people who step up when others won’t, and they come in all shapes and sizes. You don’t have to be a nurse or rescue a drowning person to be a helper. If you help someone in any way, you are a helper. Being a helper gives us the opportunity to be better human beings, and it is a natural extension of human kindness.
Stop and Ask
There are times when we have to make the decision to stop and help someone. When you see a person that is obviously confused, you can stop and ask if they need help. They may have lost their way and merely need instructions on how to get back. If you notice a friend with a fussy baby, you may want to offer to hold the baby while your friend has a break. If you see a distressed person or someone with a disabled vehicle on the roadside, you can check to see if they would like you to call 911 or a tow truck. You can step forward to be a friend to a lonely person.
Your concern for their predicament is a natural human reaction. Even if they decline your help, they will feel good knowing that you cared enough for them to stop and ask.
Sometimes people in distress just need someone to talk to. You can be the listening ear they need. Unless they ask for your input or a solution to their dilemma, your job is merely to listen. Put aside your own opinions and show them you care by being their sounding board.
As tempting as it may be to offer a solution, what they need now is to talk it out. There will most likely be time later to discuss solutions.
Offer What You Can
Sometimes you need to offer more than a listening ear. A person may have lost their home in a fire, along with all their belongings. There is always something you can do to help a person or family who has to start all over. You may be able to “shop” from your own home to help them replace some of their possessions, such as furniture, kitchen supplies, bedding, or clothing.
Find resources who offer help with temporary housing. Start a Go Fund Me or similar fundraiser to help them financially. Offer to watch their children while they deal with solutions for their problems.
If you can’t physically help people, donate to a charity or church that offers help to people in dire situations. Offer to take someone to their appointments. Volunteer for programs that bring food and friendship to the elderly. Direct people to organizations that can help them start their own business. Offer to tutor someone who is struggling with language or academics.
The list of ways to help others is endless. If you want to help others but don’t know where to start, look at online service organizations such as Just Serve or Red Cross for lists of opportunities to help.
It is important to remember that accepting help is just as important as giving it. Sometimes, it is hard to ask for help because we don’t want to appear weak or vulnerable. However asking for help gives others a great opportunity to reach beyond themselves and take care of others.
It’s often said that those doing the helping are just as uplifting as those receiving it. Don’t cause someone to miss out on the opportunity to serve because you’re too proud to ask for help!
The Tuttle Twins books offer a plethora of examples of helpers – individuals who strive to make a positive difference in the lives of others. By using these examples of how people have stepped up to help and lead when necessary, you and your children can gain valuable insights and inspiration.
So, why not become someone’s neighbor and start making a positive impact in your community today?