“Look for the Helpers”

Look for the Helpers


It was Mr Rogers who coined the phrase, at least to those of us tapped into his beautiful message of kindness, hope, and humility to “Look for the helpers.”



Well, as he tells the story, it was his own mother who told him once when he was young and frightened after seeing something scary on the news, if ever in a time of fear, look around for the people helping others.  Those are the ones we would want to go to.  Those are the ones leading the way into the light.


This weekend we faced another terror attack, an attack to try and grab hold of one of our two primary emotions, fear.  The entire basis of “terrorism” is strengthened by the fact that it is a war you can’t really win, with an enemy you can’t even see.


This leads us to an important period of our own personal development or sense of self, and a chance to observe how we react to these little land mines of possible growth opportunities for us.


Do we build walls, or reach inside ourselves to find compassion and possibly build a bridge to the very culture we see being judged with a blanketed stereotype that is largely false, not just in my home country of the United States, but all over the world?


These incidents can justify counter attacks, fear, anger, and hatred.  Which is their objective, so if we give in to this, they win.


Now why did we choose a tag line called “The Common Thread” for this extension of a set of ideas, an altruistic brand and vision.  Well, as an American living abroad, children from two unique cultures, familial traditions that are unique, you should learn to try and see that either we are all different, or share more in common than not.


I think it’s a combination of both that has become important.  I have realized some words that are part of our lexicon in American English don’t translate well. Some things are just uniquely American, and that is okay. Some things are uniquely Scandinavian, and that is okay.  Some parts of the world our dialect is strange to others, our skin color is not the same, the way our hair looks and grows is unique to our culture and should not be ignored.  Cultural pride is still a big thing and not to be overlooked in this period of global “oneness” …yet, as Sarah Silverman tries to show in a new series coming out on Hulu, once we get in a room we often realize just how alike we all are.


It’s in our shared sense of being human, the emotions that are unique to us while living in this body of flesh and blood, the facing of our own mortality and those around us, how to deal with loss, or oppression, or alienation, and the powerful binding elements of compassion, love, understanding, and even as she points out on her show, the human touch.


Often a hug is all that is needed to diffuse a lot of differences, in many process groups that I like to join, it’s important when we met, we hug, it’s a sign of unity and oneness within the group. There is something powerful about a hug, and it’s not meant for only the one we are in love with, or our kids.  It’s meant for everyone


I think the gentleman who started the Hug Project is a beacon of hope, one man with an idea and the good side of social media showed just how much that human touch, that smile, that real engagement can break down the walls that divide us. I loved watching him hug the officers as we had the intense face offs between activists and the men and women there to protect and serve.


If ever “Look for the Helpers” was a sign of the “light beings” than he is one, his movement is based on trying to unite, not divide.  Powerful Youtube clip here.



This world is not perfect and neither are any of us. I think when we step back and realize our own deficiencies is when we can finally open up to anyone, have a shared compassion to those around us.  Because we sort of recognize that all of us are doing the best we can with what we have, right where we are.


It may not seem like enough, but if you do a deep self-analysis of your own short comings to help you shave off those weak points, or as Bruce Lee would say “the inessentials “then we find an inner peace that is not fabricated, but based on knowing thyself.


An honest look within, can bring the deepest connection to all the other humans that we share a cosmic web of energy with.


Not to sound cliché, but I honestly believe we are really in this together, humanity is in its own tipping point of sorts with climate change and global tensions, extreme fears from fundamental vantage points and a trend to nationalism with some of the largest countries in the world as people are trying to find homes and safety in lands we sort of took from them in a war that made no sense looking back.


So to end this little string of thoughts, in times like these whether its people on TV, politicians, or those in our real lives “look for the helpers.”


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