One of my angels

Other posts in Rhobin’s Rounds:
What matters in today’s world?
Things that go bump in the night

Rhobin Courtright’s topic for November is: “Tell when you either performed or received a random act of kindness that made a difference.”

My life has been shaped by a great number of people I call my angels. Each has given me a model to follow, helped me over one or more hurdles, and showed me the essential goodness of human nature. In turn, following them, I have sought opportunities to do the same for others.

I was barely 14 on my first day in an Australian school. I could not even read the street signs, and found my way from migrant hostel to school only through the kindness of an older boy. Mr Dutton, the Principal, interviewed me. Somehow, we managed to understand each other, to some extent anyway. He said, “You’ll need a school uniform.” He pointed out the window at boys in the playground, showed me photos, and pointed to my clothes.

“No money,” I explained. “Mother, Father, Hungary. Migrant hostel me.”

He took a tape measure from a drawer of his desk, got me to stand and measured me up. “Come back here tomorrow,” he said, and worked at it till I understood.

The next day, he presented me with a brand new uniform. It wasn’t until many years later that I found out, he’d paid for it out of his own pocket.

Mr Dutton gave me one-on-one coaching in English. He was the only person in the school who could sometimes beat me at chess, and used the game as a teaching tool. He took me home on some occasions, and his wife cooked me wonderful meals. Ten years after my start in his school, he attended my wedding.

This is why I’ve honoured him as one of my angels in Ascending Spiral.

Other participants in Rhobin’s Round this month:

Diane Bator
Marci Baun
Judy Copek
Rhobin Courtright
Hollie Glover
Rachael Kosinski
Fiona McGier
Anne Stenhouse
Skye Taylor
Connie Vines

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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11 Responses to One of my angels

  1. Connie Vines says:

    I too work in education. English Language Learners have many challenges I am glad you found a angel to help you and will share your experience with other.


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thank you for visiting, Connie.
      My way of paying it forward is mostly to answer desperate cries for help over the internet. I have a few questions and answers in each issue of my newsletter Bobbing Around. This is the way I acquire an ever-growing list of grandchildren.


  2. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Thank you, Anne.
    I didn’t think of it that way. Every stage of my life was just the way things were… until I looked back at it later.
    Others have had it much harder. I am thinking of those millions caught up in insane conflict in the Middle East, Afghanistan, various African countries, right now. And when they escape, they meet more cruelty, to discourage them from impinging on people’s comfort.
    The way out is precisely our topic this month. An attitude of giving, sharing, helping would change our world if universally applied.


  3. Oh my goodness; I don’t know if I’m just emotional but your story made me tear up just a tiny bit. That’s wonderful! That type of kindness is usually reserved for stories. 🙂


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thank you, Rachael. Mr Dutton was real enough, but, transformed in various ways, he has often figured in my fiction.
      You don’t do too badly yourself, judging from your blog.


  4. I’m really humbled sometimes by how many hurdles people like yourself had to overcome, Bob. Lovely story, but it doesn’t hide the precarious nature of your existence back then, anne stenhouse

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Skye-writer says:

    What a wonderful caring man and just look at the difference his thoughtfulness made in a young boy’s life at a time when he needed that kindness the most.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. wildchild says:

    What a wonderful story, Bob! There are many kind people in the world, and, still, I think we need more kindness. 🙂



    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thank you, Marci.

      In fact, the general attitude is what we need to save a future. My early writings were dominated by just punishment for aggression, but now, the people in my books defeat hate with love. I think that’s more likely to work.



  7. Rhobin says:

    I don’t know about in Australia, but here in U.S. elementary and high school teachers are often underestimated and disparaged about their duties and performance due to political interference. Teachers have accomplished some astounding acts for good and many of kindness.
    The more I read your posts the better I understand the purpose in Ascending Spiral, which makes it an even more compelling story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      I agree, Rhobin. But also, I could just as well have written about a working woman whose son happened to be in the same scout troop as I was when she found out I was 12000 miles from my family, living in a migrant hostel, she had me in her home about one day a week for years. She fed me, mended my clothes, made me feel welcome. We shared a twisted sense of humor, and she showed me that giving is a pleasure rather than an obligation.


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