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Looking for the "Helpers"

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

We’ve all seen way too many news stories about panic, suffering, and fights in grocery stores.

So since yesterday, as I made the very surreal trip from New York back to Jerusalem knowing that I was about to spend two weeks in isolation, I've been trying to focus on positive stories.

With this much stress, it’s not easy to be positive.

Being totally positive is not realistic, either. We need to process everything we feel.

But following the advice of Tom Hanks, which of course he got from Mr. Rogers, is helping me. I’m trying to spot the “helpers,” and it’s actually pretty easy.

“Thanks to the helpers. Let’s take care of ourselves and each other.” ~ Tom Hanks

Here are just a few examples of nice things that have happened lately:

- A teacher in Iran is using a blue marker, the side of her refrigerator, and a webcam to make sure her students don’t miss out on too much education.

- At 9 p.m. two nights ago, Greeks stood on their balconies for a country-wide round of applause for healthcare workers.

- A family in Jerusalem has offered their balcony with the view of the Old City as a venue for couples to have weddings that meet the difficult and painful requirement of having under ten guests.

Besides what I’ve seen on the news, I know my El Halev staff members have been checking on each other, offering to run errands for those who can’t go out, sending each other funny memes and videos, and offering emotional support.

I’ve also heard that the WhatsApp groups for the ESD Global trainees are as active as ever with countless messages of support and solidarity.

Who’s up for sharing nice stories? I don’t know about you, but hearing them would give me a boost.

Last but definitely not least, I wish Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, and everyone affected by COVID-19 a full and speedy recovery.

Looking forward to seeing many of you on Zoom while I'm hiding out in here:

In the meantime, I’m sending you all virtual ankle and elbow bumps, Vulcan salutes, or whatever form of greeting you’ve chosen to use.

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