Fred's Mom was Right--Look for the Helpers!


Fred Rogers’ mom taught him to look for the helpers in times of great difficulty. A lesson for all of us as we face challenges in which soft targets such as schools, places of worship, stores, concerts, sporting events, and shopping malls can in an instant become scenes of unspeakable tragedy. Our helpers are to be found in many places and their love which promotes healing is much stronger than hatred, and the fear in which it is rooted.

Fred’s Mom was Right—Look for the Helpers!

We are living through some challenging times as most of you know. The idea that terrible things could never happen “here” is now a relatively quaint notion which has been replaced by the awareness that soft targets—schools, places of worship, stores, concerts, sporting events, and shopping malls—can in an instant become scenes of unspeakable tragedy. That visit came recently to one of our Pittsburgh neighborhoods, the one Fred Rogers knew so well, at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill. Eleven souls were lost to a man whose life spiraled downward to the point that death and destruction came to give some meaning and purpose to his life. A theme often present in others killing in places such as Orlando, San Bernardino, Newtown, Littleton, and unfortunately many more. The new normal is that it can happen here and we are challenged to heal from our pain. While, our leaders and legislators fail to address issues that make these tragedies far more likely and common here than in other parts of the world.

As Fred’s mom taught him, in times of great difficulty look for the helpers. The helpers are the healers. They cannot undo the incredible physical and emotional pain we have experienced. They cannot undo the loss of what could have been and should have been. They cannot make sensible what was senseless. That is not their purpose in our time of need. The helpers are those serving us while being the Love—God Is. This love is connective, unconditional, unburdened, and unlimited. It is far stronger than hate and its “father”—fear. This love will return us to living as we come to terms with man’s inhumanity to man. This love is our rock as we move beyond the darkness into the light.

We can find the helpers anywhere and anytime. They come in many different forms. The first place is within. We have all been endowed with the Love—God Is. This is why we are capable of doing incredible things and why when people come together they do some really incredible things. We were designed by the wisdom of the ages—three million years—to heal from within and be our healer. Tools such as sharing our thoughts and feelings, crying, laughing when we’re ready, meditating, and exercising are just some of the ways that resonate with the design woven into our being so that we can love, help, and heal ourselves.

The helpers are also found in all of the people surrounding us who are manifesting the Love—God Is. This love being reflected in their listening, kind words, compassion, and warm embraces. We must open our door to these helpers as the connective, unconditional, unburdened, and unlimited love they are extending to us resonates with our Divinity. Seeing the face of God in their reaching out to us allows us to reach inward and recognize the God which dwells within. This recognition helps us to know that we never walk alone on our life’s path even in the darkest of times and can surmount them with the Love—God Is.

Our helpers can also be found in those we have never met. But, who gave something to the world born of their being the Love—God Is. Their gifts may have been musical, artistic, literary, religious, athletic, scientific, or any other creation that resonates with our humanity and Divinity. Touching us in a way that inspires us to love, help, and heal ourselves. Each allowing us to experience a greater sense of connection to ourselves and others—humanly and spiritually.

The helpers can be found in nature’s gifts. Each created by the Love—God Is. Each showing us the breadth of love which surrounds us, waiting to be held to their bosom. Each speaking messages to us about the beauty, meaning, and purpose which remains as we walk along the healing path. Chirping birds, fragrant flowers, serene beaches, gentle rainfall, dog licks, cat cuddles, sunrises and sunsets, majestic mountain views, and tranquil forests are just a few of the messengers of love, awaiting the opportunity to be our helpers.

Ironically, those who perpetrated mass violence were surrounded by many helpers. They either could not recognize them or chose not to reach out to them. They had gained tremendous distance from the Love—God Is within others. Divisive rhetoric certainly did not help them to do either. It was present in the healers who served the killer at Allegheny General Hospital while working to save his life. The Love—God Is was present in all of the mass killers though they had gained an incredible amount of distance from it, which is what happens when one’s ego energy is significantly imbalanced, and life can only be understood in inhuman terms devoid of any connection to one’s humanity, spirituality, and that of others.

Yes, love is stronger than hate and fear because it connects us to all of our helpers and all of who we are—much stronger!

Dr. Nickolas Martin is a licensed psychologist who has worked in clinical, university, public school and private practice settings as a therapist, diagnostician, educator and consultant for 35 years. He authored Ego Therapy: A Method for Healing Your Whole Self and co-authored with Rev. Linda M. Martin, EgoSpiritualism: Awakening to Your Human and Divine Self and The Two Voices Within: Balancing the Energies of Ego and Spirit to Enhance Your Life.

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