Monday, April 15, 2013

Look For the Helpers

*Note: This was written during the early evening hours of yesterday.

Well, I’m sure there will be a bazillion articles and blog posts about the tragedy that happened in Boston today, and here I am adding another. This is my first time talking about a tragedy, and for the past few hours since the bombings occurred I’ve been so horrified that I felt I just had to say something about it.

As I sit here writing this now, the casualties are still two dead and 100+ injured. Just about everyone I know has posted on Facebook about this, most needing to vent their great shock and horror, almost all asking for prayers. I posted several times myself, and as time ticked on, watching the news reports and keeping a tab open with news updates streaming from a live blog, I realized that I was feeling a myriad of emotions I just have to talk about. I *need* to do this.

You always hear about the stages of grief people who lose loved ones go through. You know, shock, denial, anger; others I can’t think of right now, and somewhere in there you come to acceptance. I think tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombing also affect us in that way.

When I first heard the news and turned on the TV to get information, I was so stunned and shocked, and felt sick to my stomach and helpless. How could this happen? Was it really happening? I watched the horror playing out on the news in videos and photos, and then I got on Facebook to see if anyone had posted. It all seemed so unreal, I guess I wanted to confirm that it was really true. And of course it was.

I usually get stuck in the rut of why. WHY do people do these kinds of things? Why do people hurt and kill others? I keep trying to understand, to relate, and it’s futile. I can’t. I just do not get it. I always have to come to the conclusion that some people are simply evil, and I won’t ever be able to understand. Period.

And after a while, that always leads me to anger. Sometimes people don’t want to admit they’re angry, because it may make people think less of you. Well, we’re all human, and anger is a human emotion. I’ll admit it. I was angry. I was more than angry, I was PISSED. What IS it with people?? Why do we live in a world where jerks go around doing things like this to innocent people??

I posted on Facebook that I’m sick of evil people, and I wish they would go live on another planet and leave the rest of us alone. If they’re angry about something, why can’t they express themselves in a civilized manner? I’m sick and tired of jerks who go and hurt or kill others usually because they disagree with some issue. If they’re so intent on killing to get their opinion or point across, why don’t they kill themselves instead of innocent people??

Now don’t go thinking I advocate suicide, because I don’t. I value human life. All human life, whether they are like me, unlike me, have different beliefs than me, different lifestyles, whatever. None of that matters. I believe all human beings have value. But hey, if their intent is to kill to somehow “express” themselves, then do it themselves, not others. No one has the right to take the life of another.

And then, after a while spent in Angry Mode, I come to the point when I’m looking for something good. I’m looking for comfort. I’m looking for proof that all of humanity isn’t so depraved and evil minded. Today I desperately needed that. Because this terrible attack shattered my sense of security, I needed to find something that showed me that even though there are awful jerks in this world who do sickening things like this Boston Marathon bombing, there are good people. And that the good people far outnumber the jerks.

So I came upon several posts and comments on Facebook quoting something Fred  “Mr.“ Rogers said about times like these. Though I watched his show growing up and even the music and theme song can bring me back to a special, peaceful, safe place, I never knew he said this. He said: “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.”

And in reading his quote and thinking on it, I felt somewhat grounded again. I need to stop asking why, stop going over and over the horror of this day, and start focusing on the good. And that’s when I started seeing posts about marathon runners who finished the race and went to Mass General Hospital to donate blood, runners who stopped running and ran to help, emergency personnel who ran into the fray to help. People who, instead of giving in to that natural inclination to run away, ran forward *to* it to do whatever they could to help.

I found a measure of peace again, and my sense of security increased. Those of us who strive to live peaceable lives definitely outnumber those who are so selfish and cowardly that they do these awful things to others and try to make others as miserable as they are. Of course, for me, my true peace comes from God, in whose hands my life rests anyway. But realizing that there are so many loving, caring, selfless people out there is a nice comfort too. And I can do what I can for the people affected by this latest incident, which is pray. So pray I will, and keep looking for the helpers. ~Peace

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