Another set of horrific images are now emblazoned in my brain. The raw video and photos of carnage and human misery.
We don’t yet know if this was the act of international terrorism, or of a single deranged individual seeking fame by causing terror and human misery.
“Look for the helpers.” Fred Rogers (the famed “Mr. Rogers”) was asked how to help children deal with disasters and tragedies. He said his mother would always tell him, when he was a boy trying to understand scary things in the news, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people helping.” This comforted him as a boy and throughout his life.
Amid the chaos shown in all those videos, you see dozens of “helpers,” both uniformed and not. While the stunned public runs away, or freezes or falls in place, these helpers rush toward the explosion, toward the pain, toward the chaos. Such a response may be in the job description of some of these heroes, but not all. And still, there is that singular point at which each of those individuals had to physically turn their bodies to face the unknown danger, and then rush toward it.
We can be thankful for such helpers at the scene in Boston. We are thankful for the many helpers in our own communities: those who volunteer to fight fires, help with medical emergencies, respond to car accidents and weather emergencies; those whose job it is to help (police, medical professionals, educators, daycare providers, and so many more); and those who find themselves caught up in a crisis situation and respond … by helping.
And to all who will be bombarded by the Boston images, on TV and in the reruns in your head, “look for the helpers.”