Mr. Rogers gently guided us to always look for the helpers when catastrophe occurs, “because if you look for the helpers, you’ll know there’s hope.”
Mr. Rogers first meant those comforting words for children experiencing distress. Don’t you agree, however, that they work nicely for everyone these days? Following his sage advice might just be what gets me through the next three plus years.
Our world has been shaken, shaken badly. Many senior citizens, who don’t feel they have time to “wait it out,” are more nervous than others.
So, I’m looking for the helpers.
I’m seeking the people who will keep us together, safe and cared for, and then will guide us out of this darkness into the warm sunshine of positivity for a brighter future.
My helpers are elected officials who represent me and, for the most part, share my way of thinking. My helpers are those politicians who are listening to our fears and are gearing up to wage war on any encroachment of our civil rights and entitlements.
My helpers include the U.S. Climate Alliance, which was created in early July and currently includes California, New York, and Washington states. This alliance honors the Paris Climate Accord.
Helpers include Michael Bloomberg, an American businessman, author, politician, and philanthropist and the eighth-richest person in the world, who stated that his nonprofit foundation would commit $15 million to fill the gap left by the U.S. government backing out of the 2015 global agreement.
My helpers list also includes:
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D.-N.Y., and Representative Rosa DeLauro, D.-Conn., who have re-introduced The Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act which guarantees workers receive at least two-thirds pay for up to twelve weeks when they take time off because of their own health conditions – including pregnancy and childbirth – or to care for others in their family (Calif already has a similar act) and
The Committee to Protect Journalists which was shouted out by Meryl Streep during her Golden Globes speech. This group promotes the rights of journalists to report the news and supports those who have been captured, imprisoned, or otherwise threatened worldwide and
Groups like Black Lives Matter and Natives in America, which started out as scrappy, dedicated-to-the-cause fighters who have over recent years grown to become nationally known and doing so much to educate politicians and the general public about people of color.
The helpers include all those who make their needs and wishes known by marching and calling and emailing and hosting salons where possible solutions are created.
I continue to weep in gratitude for the hard work and dedication of ALL those who rescued, comforted, and provided innumerable support to those whose lives have been damaged by weather-related circumstances — whether these individuals be paid or volunteer. You and all first-responders are the front line of mending heart and home. Thank you!
No list of MY helpers can be shown unless it includes John Oliver who provides true, detailed and responsible reporting while cracking me up at the same time.
So, these are just a few of the people and organizations that I’m aware of because they appear in the news. There are gobs of helpers right here in my community who help keep things afloat when there is no time, or money, or energy left to care for even one more person in need.
I’m sure if you look around you’ll see helpers in your neighborhoods too! This brings me to my final point.
What can I do?
I can be a helper. I can be here when you want a no-politics zone, a place to have tea and watch the hummingbirds or talk about my darling cat, which you’ve never seen and aren’t even sure exists.
I can be here to listen, without judgment, when you share how scared you are for yourself or your family. I can write letters and emails. I can make calls. I can help you navigate new health care options or living arrangements or financial alternatives.
I can hug you, smile through your tears — both yours and mine — and I can remind you that This Too Shall Pass.
Did I say I can listen?
I can and will listen.