During Tragedy, Look For The Helpers

My heart has been heavy since Friday November 13th. I can’t take my mind off of the fact that so many lives were unjustly cut short, and so many other people whose lives will forever be changed. All of this is due to the actions of some very misguided individuals. My mind keeps coming back to thinking about Paris and all the lives that were affected. I’ve been spending a lot of time on social media reading about all of the events that are going on. I am sad to admit that I too, did not know about a lot of the other events that people continue to speak about. The terrorist attacks in Beirut Thursday night that killed over 40 people and injured hundreds of others. Attacks that happened recently in Kenya, and so so many others. This is contemporary media coverage, keeping us all updated about the things that they choose are “relevant” and closer to home. Twitter was not thriving on Thursday night and fighting ISIS, but it was on Friday. This saddens me deeply. So while most of my focus in this post is directly speaking about Paris, I truly want to speak about tragedy that occurs all over the world, and am using Paris as an example.

I feel as though, way too quickly people began talking politics and fighting ISIS and retaliation, before they even stopped to empathize with the people who were forced to suffer. The people whose lives were unjustly cut short. The people whose lives were forever changed. Those who witnessed and survived the horrors. Those who were injured physically and mentally. Those who will never have their loved ones back. Too quickly people forgot to empathize with those who were suffering. Too quickly they wanted to talk about killing others and bombing other civilians. If you could feel the pain of those who were suffering, you would not for a moment want anyone else to have to suffer in that way. For these reasons, I think that before we can talk about any of these things, we must stay human, stay loving, and empathize with those who are suffering. If we don’t do this first we will lose those beautiful qualities that we all were born with, and instead we will become hateful, spiteful creatures who only cause more pain and suffering.

I urge you to take a look at the heart wrenching yet heartwarming Facebook post that was written by Isobel Bowdery, who was one of the survivors of the Paris attacks (I think her post has since been taken down, but if you search her name on Twitter or Google you will easily find the post). She speaks about what she went through when gunmen entered the concert hall and began shooting innocent people. She shares the horrors of it all, which I won’t force you to hear as it is quite disturbing. But what she emphasizes is not anger and hatred. Instead, she found the beauty in the situation. She spent time thanking the strangers who comforted her, appreciating the love she saw in people’s final moments together, and the compassion she received from so many. This woman who experienced the horrors of that night was able to see what is so beautiful about humanity. She saw what was beautiful, not what was ugly. No one would hold it against someone who had been in that situation to be fearful and full of hatred towards society. But Isobel grasped on to the beauty of our world, and for that I genuinely thank her. Even I was feeling deeply saddened about the horrible world we seem to live in. How people can so horrendously harm other human beings made me feel depressed about the world we live in. How can people be so cruel and cause so much unnecessary suffering? But Isobel helped me see that if you look just a little deeper, past the ugliness of these situations, you can find what is truly beautiful about our world. Love, compassion, trust, and selflessness.

This also reminds me of a quote my husband shared with me when we were discussing the horrors of these events.

“Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Rogers


If you do this, you will see that it is only a small few who commit the horrors in our world, and great masses of people who are beautiful, loving and compassionate. Sometimes it feels like the world is a dark sad place, especially when we see heartless tragedies occurring. But when we take the time to see all of the people selflessly helping, we’re able to see how much more beauty there is in our world than ugliness.

– ♥A♥

Comments 2

  1. Well, as I was reading your blog, my mind kept going back to the “Unsung Hero – Thai Life Insurance” video. Have you seen it? It’s compassion in a nutshell, short video. If everyone in the world thought like you, there would be no heartbreaking tragedies, that’s for certain.

    The only area I respectfully disagree with you about, and it is a linguistic disagreement over the “small few who commit horrors in our world”. In my opinion, the small few represent a minute percentage of the total world population. However, I submit that the actual number of people who commit the horrors are a jaw-dropping and horrific actual number. You astutely pointed out in your compassionately written blog that horrific tragedies occur all over the world. I urge you to do your own publicly available research to attain a pretty accurate actual number of people who have committed what we both would agree would be horrific tragedies (choose whatever time period you like) and add that number to the estimated number of people in the world who we would both agree represent pure evil and applaud these horrific tragedies. Again, I submit that the total # will in fact be a small percentage of the total world population, but a number that would astonish you. Take the Paris tragedy for instance. The media consistently reports that those handful of people responsible for Paris did this is in support of an evil group (I refuse to even say their name) whose members total in the tens of thousands. The news reports indicate that not a day goes by without them committing horrific acts upon the innocent. I have yet to see on the news one story, on any channel of any individual from this evil group that you or I would describe as beautiful, loving, or compassionate. In addition, and as you made reference to, there are plenty of other horrific tragedies that occur all over the world involving the suffering of others who unfortunately do not receive equal compassion from a naive and/or numb to tragedies world population.

    I applaud your focus on the helpers, the victims, and all who cherish all the wonderful, kind-hearted qualities you do. They are all heroes. I vehemently believe that all people have the right to live free of violence of any kind. Unfortunately, the reality is a disturbing quantity of uncivilized, horrible, non-apologetic, evil people live for the sole purpose of obliterating this right for a host of incomprehensible, inhumane reasons.

    Thank you for providing the space for me to reply and express my opinion and more importantly, THANK YOU for your kindness and support for all who yearn for world peace and compassion for all. I would definitely smile seeing you anchor a network show that I believe the world needs more now than ever … and that is GNN (Good News Network), 24/7 coverage of only GOOD BREAKING NEWS of heartwarming/compassionate/live-saving stories – sooooo very important to keep faith in all that is good

    With the utmost respect,


    1. Post

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply Chuck, it truly means a lot to me to be able to share my thoughts with others and especially to be able to chat about them. I’m happy to give you a space to share your thoughts, and I’m grateful that you took the time to hear mine.

      I haven’t seen the video you mentioned, but since you recommend it I’ll be sure to check it out.

      I’m glad to hear you respectfully disagreeing with me! Sadly, you’re right. There are a devastating number of people who commit these kinds of acts and condone them. It may be a small percentage of the population, but for that many people to be committing such horrendous acts, there are far too many people participating. With that I wholeheartedly agree.
      I love that suggestion! I believe that the news simply saddens and scares people into hopelessness. We need far more of a focus on the beauty of our world than the ugliness. Imagine a news station that did that, oh I would have that on all the time! Have you ever checked out Upworthy.com, I believe this is their intention as they’re constantly sharing heartwarming stories and events.

      Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and chatting with me, I look forward to hearing more from you.


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