Don’t Just Look For the Helpers: Be a Helper

look for the helpers and be a helper

Last week I wrote an article about Anne Frank, her isolation, and the lessons we can learn from her.  At the same time, I also finished the movie edition of the book A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood by Mr. Rogers. It was out of this combination of reading and research that got me thinking about “the helpers.”

Today’s Coffee: Stemwinder Blend from Fundamental Coffee Roasters

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The Helpers

Mr. Rogers describes when, as a kid, he’d see scary things on the news, his mother would comfort him by telling him to “look for the helpers.”

I thought about the six helpers that aided Anne and the other seven people hiding in the secret annex. They were: Johannes Kleiman, Miep Gies, Jan Gies, Bep Voskuijl, Johan Voskuijl, and Victor Kugler. 

These six people risked their lives to come to the aid of others. One of them, Victor Kugler, was asked after the war why he helped them, he replied, “They were my friends…”  He didn’t need any other reason.

Throughout history, there have been so many helpers, and I cannot possibly list them all. A few of them are Harriet Tubman, Corrie Ten Boom, our veterans, Oskar Schindler, Martin Luther King Jr., Ida B. Wells, Frederick Douglass, Paul Rusesabagina, Elizabeth Fry, Mother Teresa, 9/11 rescue workers, our firefighters, police officers, medical workers, etc., etc.

There are so many helpers throughout the history of the world, and even now, if we look closely, we can still find them.

However, I think we must take it one step further.  We can’t just look for the helpers. We must also be a helper.  Each of us must rise to the occasion presented to us and choose to help those around us.

When asked “why,” I hope we respond “because they were my friends, my fellow humans and because they needed help.”

Recommended Reading

If you are a teacher, or a parent, you need to read A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.  Fred Rogers’ insight and empathy for children is incredible!  I highly recommend it!  

I also recommend reading Anne Frank: the Diary of a Young Girl. If you have middle school age kids or older, read it with them. Then discuss the parallels between our current stay-at-home situation and Anne Frank’s isolation.  Anne’s diary offers a powerful perspective and also provides solace in knowing Anne shared similar feelings that they might have right now.

Post a comment about a helper who inspired you or an idea for ways we can all be helpers. 

Let’s encourage each other!

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4 Comments

  • Rachel at Reply

    A very thought-provoking blog! Look and be!

    • Charity at Reply

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. Was there a helper you learned about or knew personally that inspired you?

  • Rachel at Reply

    I have worked with amazing, incredible caregivers, and have watched many WW II movies where humble people rescued many from death in numerous ways. Maybe that’s one reason WW II stories fascinate me. The people who were rescuers weren’t just helpers, they were heroes. And often perhaps, a helper is someone’s hero, not everyone, but the individual they were helping.

    • Charity at Reply

      Yes, I agree helpers are heroes to those they are helping. Whether it’s the caregiver providing aid and companionship, or the man hiding his neighbors from the Nazis, ordinary people sacrificing to help another, they are the unsung heroes, and every day they make a difference.

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