The Helpers

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I am forever returning to this quote by Fred Rogers, “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.” As someone who get’s truly anxious from watching the news, this quote helped to change my perspective a little. We are constantly being inundated by horrifying news from all over the globe of human suffering in varying and terrifying degrees. I am constantly conflicted between simply not watching the news to avoid the anxiety it causes or watching it because I don’t want to become ignorant to the issues. It’s tough to go through this world with an optimistic perspective when all of this chaos seems to be getting worse and worse every day. Which is why this quote resonated with me so much – yes, this is a really scary time but I am instead choosing to see it as a hopeful time. Instead of focusing and giving attention to those who terrorise and assault, I am putting my focus on those who are supporting the victims, and instead of feeling scared for the future I am inspired to do all that I can to make a positive difference. The reason I know that we can make a difference is because so many before us have – the women who fought for the vote, the March on Washington, gun laws being implemented in Australia and even the freakin’ ban on plastic bags. Speaking as a total millennial, it is engrained in us to look to the older generations for guidance about what to do in times turmoil – but I don’t think we’re in a time where that is all that useful. Before you file an ageism suit on me, it is less to do with me being against the baby boomers and so much more to do with how inspired I feel by the younger generations that are taking action and speaking up against inequality and wrongdoings in society. In Australia, it was primarily the under 40’s that marched and rallied for LGBTQ’s right to marry whoever the heck they want and right now it is the survivors from the Florida school shooting who are leading the March For Our Lives campaign to end gun violence – even though they have every right to be traumatised, they are choosing to take their pain and doing something about it. These are the people we should be looking to, the helpers. Because of them I’m not scared, I’m inspired.

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