In the midst of the Boston Marathon Bombing, the devastating explosion in West Texas and now the largest manhunt holding an entire city hostage, we all find comfort in knowing there are always "good" people amongst us and we are reminded of that daily.  Here is another great perspective from a non-media based friend.

Without a doubt most people have the citizens (both resident and itinerant) of Boston, MA on their minds. Likewise, most people are keeping a good thought for the citizens of West, TX. Aside from the obvious comparison of population and resources, these tragic incidents are stark in contrast. The former is the victim of an unspeakably brutal domestic act of terrorism, the latter apparently the victim of an industrial accident of horrific proportion. In both instances, Americans have responded to the needs of fellow Americans in uniquely typical American fashion. I do not refer to responses of politicians and lawmakers or the current administration. I am referring to the responses of regular Folk – real Americans.

Fred Rogers (aka Mr. Rogers) said,

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 realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world. - Fred Rogers

Vickie Downing

The Rogers quote often circulates in the aftermath of a tragedy because its simplicity allows us to tune out the blather of talking heads engaging in seemingly endless agenda-driven rhetoric and mindless speculation. In a chaotic world, recognizing the helpers reminds us that in order to reaffirm our purpose as human beings, we need only lend a helping hand. In the wake of a senseless tragedy Americans are not conservative or liberal or even remotely mindful of politics. In times of crisis most Americans are quick to act, motivated by little more than the desire to help other Americans, some by virtue of their skill and training, others by mere instinct.

The helpers are the people who drop phones and cameras and rush to the hands-on aid of other people. The helpers are the people who load trucks and trailers in the dead of night and carry supplies to a small town in Texas. The helpers are tireless law enforcement officers and first responders who put their own lives on the line and families on hold to come to the aid of their communities. The helpers are the people who open their homes and restaurants and churches to provide comfort for the stricken. The helpers are the people who do not wait for the call but immediately volunteer in some selfless capacity. The helpers among us are the first to donate blood and sweat, money and property to serve their fellow men in whatever capacity they are able to do so.

What brands a people as blatantly and identifiably American is the inclination to help where we can, when we can - at home and in the world at large.

Reality Check: We will only be able to brand future generations as uniquely American in this regard if we teach them to be helpers.

Whatever the politics of the day are in the good old USA, in the end we are all Americans and we should strive to be the most outstanding derivative of that term to the best of our humanely individual abilities.

Here’s a tip of my hat to the helpers out there. You make me proud to be an American.

Vickie Downing is a geographically challenged Texan now living in Fort Collins – She loves books and rides on the Harley.  Her support for our Veterans and the Military goes above and beyond and she bleeds red-white and blue everyday. Check back next week for another topical view of the world today.