Words That Stuck With Me

“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.”

When I was a boy, I had a very unique friend. A person in which a lot of children knew, but I had the unique pleasure of actually being friends with.

When I was 5 years old, my father was invited out to Pittsburgh, PA to be on a television show. My father was a very amazing man. He passed away when I was 9, but I learned so much of what it means to be a good person from him. My father was a children’s’ entertainer; or as some people say, a clown. He was incredibly creative and made beautiful balloon sculptures. To anyone who thinks making balloon sculptures is easy, just try! I still can’t do it!

In 1990 my father wrote Mr. Rogers telling him how much his son, me, loved his show. To his and my surprise, Mr. Rogers responded not only with appreciation, but with an invite to be on his show. To make a long story short, my father ended up being on his show 3 times in the early 90s. This developed a friendship between Mr. Rogers and my family.

So why am I telling this story, besides to reminisce? Because today I was reflecting on what Our View means, brave people making the world better and why this is an important idea to me. The more I reflected, I was brought back to a phone conversation I had with Mr. Rogers some time in the mid 90’s. This was after my dad passed away and Mr. Rogers would always make it a point to call on birthdays, holidays and in between to see how my mom, my brothers and I were doing. He truly was an amazing man, just like his on screen persona, very soft spoken and kind. He was an ordained minister and had a grandson who was special needs. Always had a kind and encouraging word for my mom when she needed it the most being a struggling single mom with 3 boys.

The quote above many of you have probably seen through memes or somewhere online. This caught my attention a while ago because this is something he actually said to me. I was probably 11 or 12 and really missing my father on that day. I was feeling overwhelmed and he said to me:

“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.”

This made me feel better almost instantly. At the time, I wasn’t sure why, I just didn’t feel so alone anymore. Little did I know that, subconsciously perhaps, it shaped my life from that point forward. I always made sure that mo matter what, I had someone in my life who I could turn to when I needed help. I then made sure that I became a helper. Little did I know when i was 12, I would see first hand in my life people struggling and some very scary things. I found myself stepping into the position of helping. Even before going to school for social work, I did what I could to help people. It makes the world a less scary place. I then was blessed enough to find an amazing friend in Jill. Someone who I have grown with over the last decade and share so may of the same morals and values that we hope our podcast reflects.

This world is full of scary situations. There will be moments for each of us where we will be frightened about what comes next. In those moments, look for the helpers. There will always be one around. When you are not in one of those scary moments, be a helper to someone who is.

 

 

~Tim Franco

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