BEING A HELPER
It’s a strange time, isn’t it? With the heightened fear and anxiety around covid-19, even the most calm of us is most likely feeling a low level of stress. We may feel isolated or helpless at times like this.
Something that I heard after the terrorist attacks in 2001 was this wise counsel from Mr. Rogers:
“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.”
I am amazed at the ways people are using their skills, talents, and abilities to help their neighbors. I love how in their own sphere of influence, people are rising up to help fight this common enemy and its effects on the people of the world. I’ve seen a person offering to run errands for elderly neighbors after work so they can stay safe at home, and the local gym is streaming workouts that people can do in their own home. I’ve seen cooks sharing recipes to use pantry staples, and I’ve seen artists create inspiring works that uplift the heart. The work that giant medical and tech companies are doing is beyond my comprehension, but there are thousands of people all doing their part to benefit each of us.
Isn’t it wonderful that we all have something we can offer, our very own way to be a helper? If you are thinking you don’t cook or do workouts or create art or have a medical degree, and so could not possibly be a helper, think again. This is not the time to compare yourself to someone else. It’s also not the time to get discouraged in your abilities. The fear that surrounds this situation is very real and can be very paralyzing. It may be very difficult to think about anything clearly at the moment.
Here is the thing – even when we start thinking about what we can offer to someone else, there comes into our hearts a power that can start to conquer the fear. And as we act on those ways to lift another, there is no stopping the power of peace that can fill up our hearts. Even small ways can make such a difference. Discouragement and comparison only get in the way of that power.
It can be difficult to ditch the discouragement and comparison though, right? The most important thing I do is to ask for help from God. We can ask Him for specific guidance as we try to love our neighbors. We may be surprised by the ideas that come. For me, as I put the effort into listening to those ideas, the negativity takes a back burner.
It also helps to remember past successes in helping others. Have you taken dinner to someone, driven a friend to an appointment, or just called someone to chat? How about using your skills to make life easier for another? Do you think the effort you made was small? All help is valuable no matter the size. Has it been a while? It’s like riding a bike – You’ve got this!
Take the first steps. Whatever uniqueness you bring to the table, that’s what you can share. I know you will find the calm you are looking for as you uplift others. Will you give it a try?
What helpers have you seen?