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.’― Fred Rogers
When we talk about service, certain names and faces come to mind right away. People who will always show up, no matter what is going on in the world or in their own lives. These are the helpers we all rely on, who will step up to do the work and fight the good fight. (Photo credit: Prosperity Connection)
As I look around the world today, I see a lot of fear and uncertainty. We all live with it. In a few short years, our world has been turned upside down by events that we didn’t anticipate. The universe has demanded that we pay attention to what is going on around us in ways that are unfamiliar to many. As we navigate difficult days, we are learning and growing, often in painful ways.
Many of us are unlocking doors that have been shut for far too long. We find ourselves walking down dark, overgrown pathways, not certain of where they lead. There seems to be danger and aggression coming around every corner. It feels like all the safe harbors have dried up. And we’re asking each other, what comes next? Who will lead us out of the darkness and into the light? Who knows the way?
Where are the helpers?
Several years ago, I made a choice in my life. I chose to use my gifts and talents in a way that reflected my values. I pursued a meaningful way to contribute, to making the world a better place than I found it. I was fortunate when I found organizations that shared my values and pursuit; places where I could be of service.
It is being of service that gives our life meaning. It means being willing to make sacrifices of time, energy, resources, and even money to uphold your values. It is the work that pushes the human race forward, making ongoing progress towards a world that honors all life.
In service, we recognize the inherent worth and value of each life. We recognize how we are all connected, and how we need each other. Each time we build a relationship, we are building community. The light we seek exists in each of us. And it brightens when we create relationships, build bridges, and grow communities to include everyone. While I cannot promise that the people at NEW will have all the answers to lead us out of the dark, I’m comforted by the willingness to try. I’m inspired by honest collaboration with others in the nonprofit sector as we seek those answers and share our light. I find hope in lifting up our community, and responding, “yes,” to the needs that are brought to our door. Innovation is everywhere as we rise to the challenges of our time by reimagining and rebuilding our world without scarcity and oppression.
It is the compassion and empathy we bring to each other during turbulent times that will show the way.
Look for the helpers. They are all around you.
What comes next? It’s up to us. Together.
Terri currently serves as NEW’s Helpdesk Manager.