A playlist as we “look for the helpers”

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick May

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.

Comments (14)

  • Pingback: “Get Lost” Already — With Intention & Wonder | Sociologification

  • Pingback: $#!% Storm of a Week or What Golf Teaches Us About Dealing With Tough Times | hotdogsandgolf

  • Pingback: Boston: Before and After - Hooked | Hooked

  • Aaron Freeman commented on Apr 17 2013

    Reblogged this on INCISITY.

  • commented on Apr 17 2013

    Reblogged this on ConsulTecFor.

  • commented on Apr 17 2013

    Reblogged this on Talent-On.

  • Lola Montalban commented on Apr 17 2013

  • commented on Apr 17 2013

    Reblogged this on mdmontalban.

  • Pingback: How the brain processes trauma and why support, altruism can ease fear | Scope Blog

  • Rick Smolan commented on Apr 16 2013

    Walking to school with my 10 year old son this morning he asked me about what happened in Boston and what I felt – was I angry, sad, vengeful, hopeless? I told him that it was easy to feel overwhelmed and to withdraw. But I’ve found that when I’m stuck or see no way to change a situation, I try to solve or help someone else with their problem. So I said whoever did this not only hurt the poor souls who were there in Boston but all of us, if we let them make us feel hopeless or afraid. So I suggested we use what happened as a motivation to reach out help someone else today, just as we saw so many people do there yesterday,running towards the danger to help strangers in need. That’s the only way to deal with these monsters.

    • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 16 2013

      What would make anyone so mad as to kill innocent people? Giving your child just one side is very limiting and it helps to create more of the same. This kind of thing is going to happen a lot more often, across the globe, as economies and jobs slow down even more.

      Do you tell your child the truth then? When do you inform your child that your own gov is fully corrupt and that it has poisoned the whole of the nation or do you let him live in your dream world?

  • commented on Apr 16 2013

    Reblogged this on Singing We and commented:
    I haven’t known what to say about Boston. I have a very difficult time thinking about it or looking at images of it or reading the news about it. I keep thinking about September 11th and what we went through then. I keep thinking about my kids and my husband and how I would feel if it were them. I keep feeling my stomach falling. It seems that anything I would say would be too trivial, and I find myself distancing my thoughts and emotions from it so that I can keep going through my day. And I don’t want to appropriate this tragedy – as though it’s really truly mine the way it is for the Richard family or for the other families directly affected. I don’t want to insert myself that way. But it’s still overwhelming. I think Fred Rogers’ mom’s admonishment to “look for the helpers” is wonderful. I’m looking forward to checking out TED’s playlist of helpers. I hope this helps you, too.

  • Pingback: Boston Bombing |

  • Jim Ryan commented on Apr 16 2013

    Many try to add a positive spin, because that’s what governments teach. However, as their and our bills are coming due, not just here, but the world over, GDP will be forced to pay ever higher costs in the name of security.

    The goverrnts around the world force their demands both foreign and domestically. With the gov’s trying to bring about their one world government, their division of jobs throughout the world–of course by economic favoritism and politics, you show the people of the world, that you get nothing if you choose to labor for a lifetime, honorably and that the lawyers and judges will most always defer to the monied and the connected.

    The gov’s have made these choices out of greed and the oppressed are and will strike back, on all the corruption. As they cannot get at those responsible, they will strike back in these ways, trying to make the hurt innocents to get mad at the lawmakers.

    Our own courts are fully corrupt and our own FBI ignore the pleas of the innocent, to see that justice is done. All politics is local and the FBI’s kids go to school with the judges and lawyers kids, so certainly, the agents don’t want to upset the apple cart.

    These things happen by the hundreds daily across the US and most all nations. The anger is growing foreign and domestically, in the name of the haves, against the have nots, by our own courts, against our own people. Imagine what the bullies force on foreigners, in their own corrupt nations.

    You reap what you sow, only the innocent pay, because you make your laws and hide in the dark from the consequences. I can prove such first hand, but I am not allowed a voice, unless I pay a bunch of money and depend on the corrupt court system.

    These attacks will keep happening more now, across the world.