I’ve thought a lot this week about what the future holds for my children, what is the world is going to be like for them in later years as I watched that horrible news footage of the Manchester bombing and the aftermath. Those parents who sent their children off to a pop concert expecting them to return full of stories about their evening and how much fun they had, and now those parents are maybe planning a funeral outliving your children is not something that anybody ever should or ever wants to experience, I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and trauma those families are going through at this time.
As I watched the new footage my 3 year old sat beside me asking why those people were crying on the TV I was struck by the image of the people rushing to help. The homeless man who looked after people until first responders arrived, the medical staff who were brought back from day’s off/maternity leave and such to help, the ordinary people like you and me who queued around the block to donate blood, or opened their homes to those who had been injured. It struck me that no matter what happens or where we look there are always people there to help us, be it by holding open the door or in the face of a national tragedy and this quote came to mind from Fred Rodgers:
“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 realising that there are so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
I want to teach my girls to be the ‘helpers’ in this world, the ones who in times of need or ‘disaster’ will be there for others to hold their hands to talk to them and reassure them that it’s going to be ok. I want them to grown up knowing that yes the world is a scary place but we have the power to change that, we have the ability to fight back and that our spirit won’t be broken.
I know tonight I will hug them a little tighter, and read them an extra story when they ask for it and give them a kiss and an extra cuddle because there are parents out there who will never get to tell their children how much they love them again and that is heartbreaking.
In the words of LR Knost;
“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world as little less cruel and heartless”