Look to the Helpers
I won't say I'm used to bad news-- but certainly the headlines lately leave little room for optimism-- the president is off the rails, Hollywood too, and fires and floods, mean-ness and murders in Las Vegas, injustice, misogyny, bigotry, racism,the future of the planet, the Cubs last night.
Then there was this on the local radio: "Two young Haines residents are facing felony drug charges after a package containing a significant amount of heroin was allegedly intercepted on its way to the local post office."
It breaks my heart.
When I first heard about the heroin bust, I hoped is was a really bad guy from out-of-town that we could send packing to the penitentiary for the life. Throw the book at him.
Turns out it's a good girl (I don't know her partner) from a nice family. We love her. We love them. Of course we know that the opioid epidemic sweeping the country would arrive here, or at least try to spread into the far reaches of the Upper Lynn Canal. Look at Juneau, how many overdose deaths did they have last year? Six? I can't even imagine the heartbreak.
So what to do?
Take some of my own advice. That line from Mr. Rogers I shared in Find the Good keeps rolling around in my head, "Look to the helpers, you'll always find helpers." But there's more, I think, as the need in this world, in this place right now, seems so great-- and that is to stop simply relying on the same good helpers that have always been there- the teachers, the counselors, coaches, the EMT's, the police,the pastors, the lawmakers, the nurses, and doctors, -- it's about being a helper too, by supporting training for more helpers, then supporting all those helpers when they ask for it-- any way we can. What if we throw the big book of all our efforts at helping people? --And Each other, this is us. All of us. Everywhere.
Anyway, that's what I'm thinking about right now.
One more thing, that may help -- I'll try to be extra kind today. To treat everyone as if their house just burned down, or their child is addicted to heroin. It can't hurt, and I bet it might help our hearts, you know? And who knows, it could do more than that.
And it's a beautiful day -- and the Cubs may win, and the 14 grams of heroin seized at our post office in Haines won't ever be used.