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when the world seems rotten

The news we all woke up to this morning was horrific. And it kind of felt like another terrible day in a terrible world filled with terrible people. But once I got past the shock of the headlines, what I saw online, mostly, was people pouring out hope and love into the world.

There's an element that likes to criticize the idea of thoughts & prayers - and I understand that the criticism largely stems from the notion that energy would be better spent on action to improve the world - and while I agree that we can all take action in our corners, in our places, in our communities, that will make things better - what can we do about things half a world away except send love out into the universe? There's nothing wrong - in fact, there's so much that is beautiful about sending love out into the universe.

But I came back to the idea of action. And I was reminded of this remarkable quote from Mr. Rogers:

And it hit me right in the feels, as pretty much anything Mr. Rogers does. And I realized that in both of the horrible incidents that I woke up to in the news- there were people there, on-site, in the moment - helping.

The Helpers.

And then I realized that Bea, one of the main characters in Production Values, is a Helper.

When we meet Bea, she is practicing the nursing side of her life - volunteering at a refugee clinic after spending days working at a hospital after a horrific incident rocks London.

And throughout her story, she helps the people around her - people she knows and loves, people who are strangers - in the ways of her medical profession, her TV producer profession, but also just in the small acts of love and generosity she so quickly gives.

While I can't take credit for who Bea is - characters often arrive on-scene fully-formed and they are utterly themselves - I have to admit that today I found new admiration for her and felt what an immense privilege it is that I know her.

And, now, to make this post even longer... a recent incident in my personal life. My day job recently went through some restructuring (that's corporate speak for layoffs), and one of my dearest work friends is no longer at the desk around the corner. It was a crappy moment.

And certainly gutting for her.

But guess what happened as I talked to her via text and phone calls over the next few days? She comforted me, gave me advice on how to navigate forward, told me everything was okay. Because she is a Helper.

And thank the Universe for the helpers among us. Because providing comfort and love in a world that seems often void of those things is just as powerful a way of helping others as fighting fires or healing wounds.

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