Living with Cerebral Palsy 🍋🍋

Friday, 26 May 2017

Look for the helpers....

On Monday Huffington Post UK  published a recently edited blog post from my archive originally entitled 'The Kindness of Strangers' http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ruth-drake/why-i-have-cried-over-the_b_16751178.html It was a post about how wonderfully the majority of people treat Elin. People that don't know us at all,  and how despite some negative reactions to Elin along the way, most folk never cease to amaze us with their empathy towards her and us as a family.
This was, of course, before the atrocities in Manchester on Monday night. In a venue we have ourselves watched concerts in countless times, in a city we know inside out we could hardly believe what we were seeing. As the full extent of the horror unfolded around me on Tuesday morning, I  was struck mostly by the stories of those who helped. Those people who risked their lives to protect others and the stories of complete strangers showing an incredible amount of compassion towards those they had never met. I was finally broken, whilst watching the coverage, by a story of people forming human chains towards the exits in order to help those in wheelchairs escape. This before they would have been fully aware of what had happened or what danger they still may be in themselves. That could have been us, that could have been Elin stranded amongst the terror.  How would you ever repay that sort of kindness, that pure human solidarity during such life-changing moments?
On Monday I could never have guessed how relevant the message I was hoping to impart with that particular blog post would be, as events unfolded in Manchester that night. As unthinkable tales of horror reached the media, so too did stories of amazing love, selflessness, strength and support between strangers. A homeless man sleeping outside the Arena walked towards the blast, knowing that he needed to help without fear for his own life and ended up clearing debris and caring for the injured. NHS workers, Fire Officers and Police from all over the North turned up to report for duty- so many that some had to be sent home.There were queues of people waiting to donate blood, people who had travelled from all over the UK. Other's turned up with food for the emergency services workers, or walked the streets handing out bottled water. Manchester families took in the lost, taxi drivers offered free rides to anyone who needed them. Children in school's across the country signed cards and flags to send to the families of the victims. Crowd funding pages were set up and amassed thousands of pounds in a matter of hours. It seems that in times when we see the very worst of humanity, we also see the best.
We read so much in the newspapers about how 'desensitised' we are all becoming to basic human values, particularly the younger generations. How we are a 'look down' population, staring blankly at our phones, no longer talking to one another, not fully engaging with each other's lives and problems. Yet in the wake of this tragedy, all I could see was love and unity. An act designed to cause fear and hatred inspired strength and love. The human spirit is a formidable force and we have to draw such hope from what we know about those strangers thrown together so unexpectedly on Monday night.
Something I saw quoted again and again on Tuesday was a story told by Fred Rogers, the popularity of which indicated to me our very human need to rise up from devastation. To find good where there is evil, to see positives where it seems there are none. It was a story he told about when he was a boy and used to be upset by things on the news:
"My Mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping'. To this day, in disaster, I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realising that there are still so many helpers-so many caring people in this world."
This is the message we must carry forward with us in the wake of this awful attack. As we as a family have come to know, there really is so much love and kindness in the world, sometimes you just need to open your eyes a little wider to see it. Always look for the helpers.
Have a happy and peaceful weekend, folks

 xxx
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8 comments

  1. I think it's a really important message and definitely one we should all be teaching our children during these scary times. #PostsFromTheHeart

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  2. You are so right about seeing the best of us when the worst happens. I think it's important to look for the helpers, but it's even more so to be one of the helpers. #PostsFromTheHeart

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  3. Beautiful post, you are so right. It is so easy to see what is wrong in the world. We need very much to also look for what is good. #PostsFromTheHeart

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  4. I work so close to where the attack was and have been to lots of events there. The scary thing is it could easily have been me or one of my family. I saw the Fred Rogers quote after the London attacks and again yesterday and have written my post on the good rising from the evil. My heart breaks #PostsFromTheHeart

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  5. Completely agree with everything you have wrote. I work for the ambulance service and to some extent we do get desensitised but when this type of thing happens, we come into our own and all pull together.

    Loved the 'stay strong our kid' ❤️

    #PostsFromTheHeart

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  6. That's one of my favourite quotes, and something that I tell my children too. I hate that this has become our reality, it's very hard right now to hold on to the positives.

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  7. I included that quote in a post I wrote after the Westminster attack - it's very powerful #postsfromtheheart

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