What Can I Do?

PeonyHorrible things can happen in our city, our nation, and our world. Horrible things can happen in our neighborhood, and even – God forbid – in our homes. Yet it has been my experience that most people are still good people. Maybe not perfect – but good.  Well, as good as they know how to be.

You wouldn’t think it from watching the news, I know. But I’m certain good people are still out there doing good things, even in the face of tragedy – perhaps especially then.  Yes, there are mean people. Yes, there are cruel people. Yes, there are unutterably horrible people who do unutterably horrible things. Yes, it seems like there are more mean, cruel and horrible people every day. But I still believe most people are good people.

Why do I say that? Because when a tragedy hits – like a bombing in a city, like a shooting in an elementary school or a movie theater, like a hurricane that destroys large metropolitan areas, like a terrorist attack killing thousands – the first response most people have is “what can I do?”

Sometimes the question is asked with a sense of futility. The problem is too big, too overwhelming. How do I help? How can I possibly do anything? But the instinct is there, immediate and intense. Most people really do want to do SOMETHING.

After the media has moved on, we just tend to forget. Well, until the next tragedy, the next hurricane, the next unimaginable attack.

Now, a day after Boston, we’re all wondering what we can do to help.  How can we help the people? How can we help our country?

As time goes by I’m sure we’ll hear about various needs, and I’m sure many of us will try to meet those needs.   But that hardly seems enough.  How do we face such evil in this world?  What can we do?

I think that, on a very basic level, we can all do something to fight the darkness that spreads after an event like Boston or Sandy Hook.  We all can play a part. 

We can try to be good to the other people in our lives.  We can forgive them when they screw up.  We can give them a hand if they need some help.  

We can let a stranger jump ahead of us in line at the supermarket.  For all we know that might be the nicest thing anyone’s done for them that day.

We can turn off the television. Turn off the internet. Turn off the radio. We can spend time with our family and friends. We can hug our children. Our presence is a gift (although, granted, not everyone feels that way all the time – LOL).

In other words – we can help.  We might not all be able to help Boston, but we all have the ability to help someone.  We don’t have to let the darkness win.

 

Mr Rogers

 

 

 

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