I choose to look for the helpers . . .
Fred Rogers once 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.'”
Today, I choose to look for the helpers.
Whether it's COVID-19 or riots across the nation, lately . . . it feels like we go from one scare straight into another.
We have yet to recover from the pandemic but that news has come in a far second to the mass riots across the nation. Watching our country go from coming together as we try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to vandals destroying their own cities and looting their local businesses under the guise of “protest” has been nothing less than despicable and grotesque.
So, when I covered a local event recently it was a nice reminder of how much good is around us, even among the atrocities. It was a reminder about how we can come together for the greater good, if we choose.
I had the pleasure of photographing and writing a story on “Braiden's Ride.” If you haven't seen it in earlier editions of The Paper . . . Braiden is a 10-year-old boy who suffered a pretty gnarly dog bite. As you can imagine, the event was traumatic for him. Braiden loves motorcycles and his dad is a biker so to lift his spirits, dad asked if any local bikers might be willing to drive by their house and wave to Braiden. The word spread fast and no one could have predicted the parade of around 150 motorcycles that swarmed the Walmart parking lot before the short cruise past Braiden's house – just so they could wave to the boy.
I stood back and watched this young boy. I had seen reports of him in the hospital just days before, a picture of a horrified, scared and young child in pain and shock. Today was an entirely different image. This was a young boy who was all smiles, grinning from ear to ear as each bike rolled by.
I couldn't help but think of all the hatred happening in our country as this sweet moment was taking place.
I was in awe. I had just watched hours of news coverage on the rioting. Watched all the damage done and still being done. Watched the destruction of property, the setting fires and watched people physically harming one another. It showed just how truly bad human beings are capable of being to one another.
And now I was witness to the flip side. People were rallying by the dozens just to bring a smile to the face of a young boy they didn't even know.
How very touching.
How very human.
This 10-year-old was none the wiser that as a couple hundred folks were doing something out of the kindness of their hearts, not that far away there were people brutalizing each other and vandalizing towns and cities.
I can only wish that we would see more examples like this of simple human kindness. Everyone seems to be looking for some big answer on how we stop the violence. I'm just a simple small town girl with no real words of wisdom but I think “human decency” is a good place to start. It's not that hard to just be kind to one another.

Stacey Baschwit works at The Paper of Montgomery County, along with her many other duties, and writes a weekly column about the people, places and events that make up her world.