Look For The Helpers, Look To The Children

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Being there for each other is an underrated skill. Refocusing on learning how to take care of each other and valuing taking care of others is how to find hope.

The news about Paris shook our souls on Friday afternoon and evening. I was beginning the process of swapping my workweek pace for a weekend one, when beautiful images of Paris began filling up all of my social media streams.

Children lighting candles. Couples kissing at the Eiffel Tower. Perfectly placed cappuccinos, on small wrought-iron tables, alongside sidewalk cafes.

Juxtaposed to memories and icons were words about peace and prayers and shock. It was devastating. In the last few years, when devastating news has hit, I have clung to words like Mr. Roger’s iconic, Look for the helpers. I think another version of this might be, Look to the children.

clubs for girls

Chloe had her Girls on the Run 5K yesterday. And you should know that when news like Friday’s hits, my instincts are to hunker down with my people and to keep them close.

There is not a single fiber of my being that leans toward public places with lots of crowds on any day, certainly not right after being reminded how precariously fragile this world of ours can be.

But she has worked so hard for this 5K and I am so proud of her and her team, so we went. And it was there that I was reminded of how powerful it is to — how powerful we are when we — lean on and take care of each other.

running club for kids

When these girls started out together this fall, most of them didn’t know each other. They’re from different grades and have different teachers, and until this club came along, most of their paths hadn’t yet crossed.

But two weeks ago, when they did their practice 5K, we watched them cheer for each other until their voices were hoarse. Standing beneath persistent rain — their hair glistening with drizzles, their arms raised with matching goosebump chills — they put their “finish line” back up for one girl after another and didn’t even consider leaving until their last friend had made it across that line.

When one girl was struggling toward the end of the run, the rest of the girls ran out, grabbed her hand, and ran her right up the hill, almost to the line, and then fell back to cheer her on as she crossed that line with her (new) friends supporting her.

I cried. Of course I did.

I was so happy that my girl had been immersed in something so wonderful, surrounded by people who are so wonderful.

a club like girls scouts

And when we got to the 5K yesterday, what I immediately saw is that as stunning as our club’s experience was, it wasn’t unique.

The vast lawn was absolutely filled with teachers who had volunteered their time, parents and friends who had committed to mentoring, and girls who had decided to bond with each other over running.

Small clusters of teams from different schools all held the air of connectedness, of being there for each other, of a one-ness that is a decision.

This is what I mean by look to the children.

a 5k that kids can run

They know that we can find goodness by turning toward each other.

That it doesn’t take all that much for strangers to become friends.

That beneath details, we are all more alike than we are different.

That being there for each other trumps almost anything else.

That goodness is found when we look for it.

That being there for each other and cheering each other on feels good and right and meant to be.

And they know that the more complicated things are, the simpler the answer is.

what is a running bib

Every Girls on the Run bib number was 1. Just right, indeed.

Take care of each other and each other’s children is the only answer I can think of after a weekend filled with such jarring highs and lows. It’s the only direction I can think of heading that makes sense, feels right, and holds hope.

Look for the helpers, look to the children.

I created a list of  27 (Perfectly Simple) Ways To Be Kind To Kids for you! 

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  1. Beautifully written! I wish I got off work early enough to be able to help coach a girls on the run team, or that my schedule allowed volunteering on race day. I am so amazed by what the organization is able to expose girls to, the positive reinforcement is so important.

  2. Love this Galit and such a beautiful message.

  3. This post makes me actually want to participate in running. But I’m still lazy so I’ll just take the beautiful message and never actually do that!