A day after this week's horror in Connecticut, several Facebook friends posted this quote from Fred Rogers
“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.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
The quote resonated to my core.
The helpers. The people who somehow keep it together during unthinkable events. The ones who push aside their own fear and take care of the small, the weak, the vulnerable. When every cell courses with panic and adrenalin and survival instinct, these helpers work for a greater good. They are my heroes.
I love heroes, especially unlikely ones, reluctant ones, ordinary folks who find themselves in extraordinary situations. That's why I read so much, so I can find and love characters who pull themselves up by their bootstraps and seek ways to act with courage.
That's also why I write. Somehow, creating characters who are surrounded by evil but not overcome by it, who keep their moral compass in the face of immorality, gives me hope that I, too, might act as a helper. I just hope and pray I never have to be put to the test.