Understanding Mr. Rogers' Quote About 'Helpers' Following Tragedy

Portrait Of Mister Rogers
Fotos International / Getty Images

A viral quote that often circulates in the wake of tragic public events is correctly attributed to the late children's TV show host Fred Rogers. This quote, which has been circulating since the 1980s, has been shared numerous times on Facebook since April 15, 2013. Here is the full text:

"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.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world." 

Analysis of the Quote

The task of explaining calamitous events and lending comfort to children in the wake of tragedy is a conundrum to every parent, especially when such events involve violent attacks and loss of life on the scale of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings of 2012 or the Boston Marathon bombings of April 2013.

The above quote from the late children's' TV show host widely known as "Mr. Rogers" spread far and wide through social media platforms on both occasions and was perfectly suited to the circumstances. It is also correctly attributed.

A Comforting Message for Children

Mr. Rogers' quote has been widely popular because parents often struggle with what to say to their children, who sometimes ask questions about negative or otherwise scary events that are occurring in the news. When children are too young to fully understand the gravity of a situation, a quote from someone like Rogers can help to comfort children and put them at ease.

His Legacy Lives On

Mr. Rogers has been known for reassuring families during hard times and tragic events. Due to his calm and pensive nature, Fred Rogers has provided valuable messages for children and parents during times of crisis such as a terrorist attack or a natural disaster.

Providing this type of emotional response has helped many families stay connected and create open communication around new feelings such as fright or sadness. This has helped with the emotional development of children and has assisted parents with a new set of parenting skills.