I love humans.

This sentiment has been on repeat in my head this past week.

I know what you are probably thinking—really? Especially at a time when our world is in chaos and so many humans are behaving in horrible, scary, and unimaginable ways.

I agree. We seem surrounded by corruption, greed, judgment, and hatred everywhere we turn. We are so divided and filled with fear that we have lost our way in finding reason and common ground.

For many months, I have felt anxious, avoiding the news and restricting myself to only certain parts of social media to avoid seeing and thinking about the state of our world. It is hard not to feel hopeless and overwhelmed when all we hear and see is the ugly parts of humanity.

And then my father died, my sisters’ cancer spread, and my husband was diagnosed with cancer, and suddenly, my view became clearer.

Sitting in my husband’s hospital room, I didn’t have to look for the best of humanity it was all around me. Not only did I see the caregivers doing their jobs, but I witnessed their humanity in quiet and soft gestures that were “not just part of the job.”

I couldn’t stop thinking about Fred Rogers’ mother’s timeless advice during times of crisis and pain: “Look for the helpers. You will always find people helping.”

As a psychologist, I know we are biologically designed to be hypervigilant and fearful of differences in people, beliefs, and views. We gravitate to the negative to remain alert and aware of our safety. But this primitive process is counterproductive when we are not in real danger. Uncertainty, differences, and change are not dangerous threats; they are simply challenges to confront as part of life.

The challenge is to learn to sit on that fear and give space for the wisdom of our higher brain—our more advanced thinking—to engage. When this happens, we can’t help but notice that the ugly and negative are loud and easily grab our attention. But if we look, listen, and fully engage, we notice the bold and loud actions of helpers, advocates, justice seekers, caregivers, and fighters for humanity.

Helpers as Fighters, Activists, and Advocates

Helpers are not only those who offer immediate assistance and care; they also include fighters, activists, and advocates who challenge injustices and strive to create a better world. These individuals embody the spirit of helping by addressing systemic issues, raising awareness, and driving social change.

Helpers are those who stand against oppression and injustice, often putting themselves at risk to protect the rights and dignity of others.

The Impact of Receiving Help

As I sit here looking around our living room at the flowers, balloons, goodies, and my phone filled with messages of love, prayers, and support for my husband in his healing journey, I am filled with gratitude, of course, but something more.

I recognize that I am truly blessed to have friends of the heart and family members who are our constant support and strength. While the acts of love and support didn’t surprise me, the ripple effect of these helping acts has moved my gaze and changed the lens that I have been looking through these last several months.

My gaze has moved away from the noise of the hate and my fear. My thoughts are not fully occupied with the repeated looping question of wondering what has happened to human beings. My clarity and awareness of the other humans—the helpers –are more apparent, giving me hope.

The helpers are present. They exist in large numbers. They are loud and decisive and soft and relentless. The truth is that humanity is strong and filled with more lovers than haters. The haters tend to occupy more space in our heads, but the lovers and helpers are present. I am inviting them in. I am actively looking for them. I see them, and they inspire me with hope and energy.

Inspiration and Action: Learning from the Helpers

In times of personal and collective crises, the actions of helpers can inspire and move us to action. I think that is why Mr. Rogers mom wanted us to look for them. They guide us to see what we are capable of if we dare to step forward and stand up. They give us hope that the haters and evil-doers don’t have the power.

True power sits inside the brave, the kind, and the just—those who step up in solidarity and act.

The helpers teach us valuable lessons in resilience, empathy, and community. They show us that even small acts of kindness can significantly impact us. We learn that helping others benefits those in need and fosters a sense of purpose and fulfillment in our lives. We can cultivate a more compassionate and supportive world by emulating the helpers.

Helping Without Choosing Sides

In a polarized world, it can be challenging to help without feeling like we need to choose sides. However, true helpers rise above divisions, focusing on the common humanity that unites us all. They prioritize compassion over conflict, understanding that support and solidarity are more powerful than partisanship.

To help without choosing sides, we must practice empathy and active listening. We can support those in need, regardless of their background or beliefs, and work towards solutions that benefit the broader community. We can bridge divides and create a more harmonious world by fostering an inclusive and non-judgmental approach.

 Embracing Humanity

“Look for the helpers” is more than just a comforting phrase; it is a call to action. It reminds us that amid chaos, individuals always embody the best of humanity, offering hope and inspiration. As we navigate our personal challenges and confront global issues, let us look for the helpers and strive to be helpers ourselves. Doing so can create a ripple effect of kindness and support, fostering a world where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued.

While it is easy to be disheartened by our world’s negative and fearful aspects, we must shift our focus toward the helpers—the advocates, caregivers, fighters, activists, and champions of humanity. By understanding why people become helpers and being inspired by their actions, we can foster a culture of empathy, compassion, and collective responsibility. In doing so, we improve our well-being and contribute to a more just, caring, and connected world.

So, let us love humans, celebrate the helpers, and strive to be the change we wish to see.