Joe Skura

Joe Skura

I think it was Mr. Rogers who said, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

As we have lived through a pandemic throughout the past six months, this quote has resonated with me through the many different situations I have encountered personally, and witnessed in society and our country.

Of course, our essential workers are helpers who have gone above and beyond to serve others in some very tough times. They have been dedicated, reliable, loyal and constant. They’ve risked their own health, and that of their families, to ensure service to others.

While many don’t realize it, our teachers and educators have been the helpers throughout this pandemic. These dedicated professionals had little to no warning their buildings would be closed and they would be teaching from their homes.

As some criticize our education system and want their tax dollars returned because the buildings have been closed, it has been completely apparent that every tax dollar is being used to educate students. Not only are the teachers teaching, but they’re doing so as they try to learn online platforms, computer web cams and microphones, and continuously worry about the health and safety of the students they aren’t able to see in person.

Now, these definite helpers are heading back into classrooms, some part time in person and part-time virtual, to ensure students are wearing masks, maintaining social distance, keeping them as safe as possible and following the ever-fluid mandates and requirements coming along the pike, and trying to deliver instruction.

While news coverage showed some terrible hate-filled events, there were so many showings of love. Communities rallied to feed the school students, groups organized to provide milk drops, folks came together to secure face masks to those who needed them. Religious leaders worked hard to deliver services in any way possible, customers found ways to support small businesses suffering from state mandates.

We’re all wondering what the next six months – heck the next six days – may look like through this COVID-19 world. Will our kids be safe at school? Will we have fall sports? Will we find a vaccine? Will we ever be able to live normally again?

I decided to look at it with some positivity. The helpers are there in every situation. 

I’m going to wear my “big boy pants” and give as much as I can to those around me. 

I’m going to find the good, rely on my faith and my groundings, and strive to be my best - no matter what tomorrow brings.

I’ve watched as far too many mask-no mask arguments, conspiracy theories, political bashings, hateful speeches, and too many folks losing their way over the past six months. 

I’ve seen too many businesses suffer, folks left lonely in their homes afraid of getting sick, and depression set in for many. 

It’s time for me to be the helper and make a difference where I can. I may have been getting too down in my home, albeit I did leave, over the past six months. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

We don’t know what the outcomes are going to be in the future; the election, the pandemic, businesses, jobs, education, life. What we do know is that we have the ability to be as positive as we can. Be the helpers.

“You will always find people who are helping.” Let that be us. Help comfort those who afraid during this pandemic. Help encourage those who are moving ahead in work or school through uncertain times. Help those who need a shoulder or an ear. Help make things a little easier through irritable, crazy, scary times. 

Just be a helper. Lord knows I need it. I’m going to strive to be it.

A little kindness will go a long way today.

Joe Skura is a freelance contributor who writes an occasional column for The Tribune-Democrat.

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