Boston Tragedy: Look for the Helpers

4 years ago

You know those days when something happens that threatens your faith in humanity? Finding out someone planted bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon makes today one of those days.

The news comes in waves, though, ya know? And the first wave or two is the most horrific. Those are the waves where you find out about the damage, the injury, the lives lost ... when the horror of it all settles in.

When I was a boy and would hear scary news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." -- Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers (Image: © Globe Photos/

But then in and among those waves another theme emerges.

And all that reminds me that even though there are people that do cruel things, people whose feet trail destruction, mayhem, sadness, there are way more people that are goodand that are doing good things. They are the people whose feet trail hope, healing, compassion. And there are more of them. They are the first responders, the police officers and medical aides that step in so quickly you haven’t even had time to process what happened before you realize they are already in action and saving lives. They are my sister’s friend: a cop in Boston who was on the scene and doing his job. They are my friend’s mother: a nurse who heard the news and immediately dressed in her scrubs and headed in to work. They are the runners who, instead of finishing their 26.2-mile run, turned around to help those in need. There are stories about runners, who having just finished a marathon go straight to the hospital to donate blood. So many of them, in fact, that they are turned away, because the hospital was already full to the brim with their generosity.

The world isn’t a bad place, and sometimes that is never more relevant than when a bad person does a bad thing, and then good people step up in droves to to take care of it. So that instead of loosing faith in humanity, I’m kinda proud to be a part of it.

Image: ©Kevin Wiles, Jr./ZUMA Press.

My prayers and love go out to those affected by today’s tragedy… those who lost someone, those who were injured, and those will carry around the burden of witnessing these events in a way most of us far removed will never understand. My hope is that we can all remember that tragedy doesn’t define us. It is how we respond to it that makes us great.


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