Monday, August 22, 2011

Look for the helpers.

"The lesson which life repeats and constantly enforces is look under foot. You are always nearer the divine and true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Do not despise your own place and hour. Every place is under the stars, every place is the center of the world." -John Burroughs

"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."
— Fred Rogers
Any globally-minded kid growing up in the Midwest feels compelled, externally and from within, to go. To seek those frenetic hives of suffering and excitement, of huge cities and foreign shores. I cannot help feeling sometimes that I have failed.

It is difficult for me sometimes not to compare myself to my hometown peers. He is a labor organizer in Washington. She works for the United Nations in Kurdish Iraq. But there never was a way to save the whole world at once. I can only try to save the piece I'm standing on.

And I have to stop apologizing for myself.


  1. I just had this conversation with my partner two days ago! In a yoga book I read the author was talking about letting things and people be as they are and reminding yourself that everyone is doing the best they can. That thought always helps me to not judge other people but I guess I should learn to use it towards myself.

  2. I have this conversation with myself all the time. It hasn't sunk in yet (hence the constant reminders) but I'm trying. Also, Fred Rogers? I fucking love that guy. And yes, I dropped an f-bomb in the same sentence as Mr. Rogers but you know what, he's just that awesome.