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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Schuppert

Won't You Be a Helper?

“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.’” (Mr. Fred Rogers).

I feel confident saying this world is filled with helpers. This week we have seen countless examples as friends, neighbors, and complete strangers rose to the occasion and stepped up to look out for fellow humans.

For those outside the confines of this most recent “polar vortex” that impacted us here in Texas, you must know that things have been pretty rough for many, many people over the last week or so. Many systemic failures left hurting Texans to their own devices, but also helped shed light on the good of humanity.

I witnessed first-hand as our neighborhood came together to clear downed trees, shut off water lines, aid those with compromised houses, and address the needs of the most vulnerable. This coming together as a community has ignited a desire for continued community. As I write this, my neighborhood is in the process of building a directory and there are talks about setting up monthly block parties where everyone can engage regularly.

With all this happening it was a great reminder of the power and innate desire we all have for community and connection to others. As educators, we know this more than most. Typically classrooms are children’s first community outside the home and family. As I try to aid my son in navigating the rocky waters of virtual kindergarten, his greatest and consistent motivation is staying connected to his peers and teacher, his community.

As the ice continues to melt and the rhythmic routine of life begins to reemerge, let us all consider how much greater this world would be if we lived everyday looking for those opportunities to serve the common good. Educators, there is no doubting the enormity of the task and pressure you have been saddled with, but please ensure that you are prioritizing community for both your students, and yourself. We can all benefit from more connectedness and community. Let’s just be sure to wear our masks.

“All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we’re giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world. That’s one of the things that connects us as neighbors - in our own way, each of us is a giver and a receiver.

— Fred Rogers

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