‘Look for the helpers’



Another Thanksgiving and another reminder to be thankful for many things. I should be mindful to give thanks every day, but I’m usually remiss. It’s good then to be given a day each year to take stock.

I’ve recently been reminded of a lesson Fred Rogers taught to children on his show. He told the story of when he became frightened as a child, his mother told him, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Rogers taught so many good lessons in his many years of producing Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, messages that were geared towards children, but teens and adults could learn from as well. This is one everyone should take to heart: look for the helpers.

Helpers come in many guises. Police, firefighters, and paramedics come to our aid in some of our most trying times. Members of the military sacrifice more than most of us know to serve our country. You find helpers in the medical profession who take care of our bodies, and those in the clergy who tend to our souls. Teachers and all school employees are there to not only educate, but help in other ways.

Family and friends can be helpers. They comfort us in bad times and celebrate with us in good.

There are many others who often go unnoticed in our community. The local district attorney’s office tends to the business of holding offenders accountable, but most do not know of the extraordinary work the office does for victims and their families. Folks at the Blount County Children’s Center also do incredible work caring for young victims of abuse. I hope no one ever again has to turn to those helpers, but sadly, I know some will.

There are volunteer organizations with helpers who strive to improve the lives of others and the community with no thought of being rewarded. I’m thinking of People First, the Blount County Quilters Guild, and Friends of the Locust Fork River. There are others.

I know I’ve left out many deserving of mention. At some point in our lives, we all have to seek help. We are fortunate to live where there are so many, and I’m thankful for all.

The truth is though, I’m thankful for everyone because we can all be helpers. It is the rare individual who does not possess compassion and love, and those are the only two qualities needed to give a hug, to let someone know you care, and to offer a shoulder to lean on.

As Mr. Rogers might tell you if you are in need, “Look for the helpers.” Just as important, if someone turns to you, be one.