Friday, October 21, 2016

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Look for the Helpers

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As a mom, I love helpers. Nothing makes me smile more than when one of my kids says (un-proded of course) "I did ______. What else can I do?" Every time this happens, I think I get a little tiny taste of what God feels when he sees his children do similar things for each other. 

During all of the heated debates about politics recently, it is easy for a person to share their feelings and say things that are oversimplified, incorrect, unkind or character bashing of an individual instead of the issues. The world is in commotion at every turn. Wars, famines, refugees...this all must hurt Him. Why do His children do these types of things to each other?

I recently watched the movie "World Trade Center" with my kids for our history video. Yeah, there might be inaccuracies in it, but I think it was done really well. I have heard other children say, "What's 9/11?" I want to be very clear to my children what it is and the significance that it plays in American History. A quote from the movie has been ringing in my ears since we watched it.   

John McLoughlin (played by Nicholas Cage) says as the movie comes to a close:

" 9/11 showed us what human beings are capable of. The evil, yeah, sure. But it also brought out the goodness we forgot could exist. People taking care of each other for no other reason than it was the right thing to do. It's important for us to talk about that good, to remember. 'Cause I saw all of it that day." 

Recently in our little valley we had a crazy hail storm that ripped through and left some pretty serious devastation in it's wake.  The storm didn't last long, but it displaced several families. Then the vultures came to town from several states to prey upon the people who didn't know better and they lost their insurance money too. What do you do when schools are flooded? You put the kids to work. For several days after the storm, the youth leaders in our church sent armies of texts, Facebook posts and phone calls to rally the kids to help out. They pulled carpets, removed dry wall to the flood line, and followed trash trucks that went along the streets. The City didn't have enough man power to get it all done fast enough and the refuse was starting to smell. And they had a great time doing it. Why? No other reason than it was the right thing to do...and sometimes people feed you. :)

As I teach my children the things they are seeing today, I try to balance it out the bad with the good. I strongly believe our children NEED to know the good because they need to have faith in the future (as do all of us, but especially the children). Sometimes the media will catch those who are doing good. Most of the time they don't because goodness doesn't sell as well as fear. As we see bad things unfold, look for the helpers. They are always there. (None of these should have happened, but they did. How did people respond?)

Benghazi attack   
Navy Seals went and gave their lives to try to save Ambassador Stevens

Police sniper shootings in Dallas            
Officers running toward the gun fire to rescue the injured
 Flooding in Louisiana                             
 60,000 damaged homes, 11,500 volunteers helped with relief efforts
Fires in Canada                                      
Thousands of evacuees ran out of gas and rescued by Ford owners who delivered fuel
Orlando Nightclub Shooting                    
Various reports of strangers helping strangers - Josh McGill, Ray Rivera etc.
San Bernardino Shooting                        
Various reports of strangers taking bullets for others - Shannon Johnson
Millions of Refugees                                
Governments, Churches, and Humanitarian Aid working together to help these displaced peoples   

No matter how hard I try, (ok, I don't really try that hard) I am drawn to stories from WWII about those who sacrificed everything to save some of the Jewish people. They risked personal injury, imprisonment and surely death if they were caught. This website is dedicated to those stories. I could get lost for hours...there are literally hundreds of stories. 

There is so much good in the world, when we look for it. If you may ever be in a situation where there are no helpers, you might have to be the first to stand. Sometimes people are just looking for an example. When we look past our own problems, we may find when we step out of our comfort zones and reach out to help someone else, our problems start to shrink just a little bit. One of the most amazing "aHah!!" moments that my kids observed while watching "World Trade Center" is how many people were working so hard to save just these two officers from the Port Authority. There were only 20 people pulled from the wreckage after the towers fell. Mr. McLoughlin was number 19. When I see my children help because they want to, I like to bless them with a little treat. Heavenly Father has done the same for me when I step outside my box a little and lend a helping hand. 

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