In the day since the Boston Marathon was interrupted by two bomb blasts – which killed three and injured more than 170 – a meme has emerged online: “Look for the helpers.” The quote comes from Fred Rogers, who shared in his tome The Mister Rogers Parenting Book, “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.”
In the images of the terrible scene in Boston yesterday, the helpers are obvious – bystanders attending to the injured, paramedics rushing to the scene, police and marathon volunteers helping the crowd. Even Google swung into action, creating a person finder app for those with loved ones at the marathon finish line.
We love the idea of looking for the helpers. To keep you inspired on a hard day, here are some talks from brave helpers:
Alberto Cairo: There are no scraps of men. In this talk, Cairo explains why he keeps his prosthetic limb clinics open, even during fighting in Afghanistan – because by giving people new limbs, he’s able to help restore their inherent dignity.
Zainab Saibi: Women, wartime and the dream of peace. In this talk, Zainab Salbi turns her attention to the “backline” of war – the women who keep normal life moving even through terrible moments of violence.
Rick Smolan tells the story of a girl. On an assignment to photograph children in Southeast Asia fathered and abandoned by American soldiers, Rick Smolan encountered an amazing 11-year-old girl. Here, he tells the story of how he arranged her adoption in a moment of crisis.
Scilla Elworthy: Fighting with non-violence. How do we respond to brute force without raising arms? Peace activist Scilla Elworthy evokes the examples of some of the greatest helpers — Aung San Suu Kyi, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela – to give insight.
Inge Missmahl brings peace to the minds of Afghanistan. In all of Afghanistan, there are just a handful of psychiatrists. By building mental care into the health system of the nation, Inge Missmahl is greatly helping a society long riddled by trauma.