lunch and heroes

My team had a good bye lunch for one of the fellows who’s rolling off. Eventually the talk turned to everyone’s favorite meals growing up. Since some of the guys are quiet, I try to draw them out a bit.

We had Irish, Slovak, Hispanic and Indian ideas offered up.

“What’s your favorite family meal?” I asked J.

“We just ate whatever there was, there usually wasn’t much.”

Silence from the rest of the team.

J continued, “It was the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and my parents were taken from the university and placed on a farm to be laborers. In fact, I had developed a fever that wouldn’t subside and my family took me to the hospital, but there were no doctors. As they left to return home one of the janitors followed them out of the building. He told them that their baby was very sick, and he would die if he did not receive medicine. It turns out the janitor was a doctor who had been reassigned, and by speaking to J’s parents the doctor was risking his life.”

J’s parents got the medicine and herbs the doctor advised and the little boy was saved.

We all sat for a minute, and I felt how precious life is, and how fragile it can be. I am often reminded that when the world looks bleakest, that heroes and goodness remain.

Here’s to everyday heroes who do good, you chance might be right around the corner.


35 Comments on “lunch and heroes”

  1. Shannon says:

    Wow! That’s a powerful story! I’m glad you take the time to hear what the quieter people have to say.

  2. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

    I like to think there will always be those quiet heros that want no fanfare, they just do what their heart tells them to do
    everyone has a story, I think they tell it when theres a little push to share it at the right moment
    a moving and powerful human strength story.
    Thank you for sharing it with us
    Take Care…You Matter…

  3. kabirgandhiok says:

    Powerful and a moving story, thanks for sharing this brilliant piece πŸ™‚

  4. Thank you for directing me to this blog. So much has been written about the cultural revolution and the foolishness of taking trained people out of their professions and putting them into manual labour. The reverse was also true, untrained people were put into places where they could not effectively serve. Fear was the order of the day and the worst of human nature emerged as people sought to deflect attention by putting the finger on other innocents. One of the saddest experiences I’ve listened to was in Northern Laos in the middle of the Golden Triangle where the poppies are grown. When the Communists took over they placed people in camps where the western educated were bombarded with loud Communist propaganda 24/7 for years. Miraculously many of them survived and when released adopted a low profile but their stories emerged when they felt sufficiently safe in the presence of foreign visitors when tourists were allowed later. I was there to inspect development projects which the Communists welcomed but we were under scrutiny all the time there. The “hotel” we stayed in would equate to shacks in the old US wild west and the taxi meeting us at the airport was a rotary tiller with trailer that had been more or less cleaned of their last mud load. My luggage didn’t arrive in that remote northern town so I spent a miserable couple of days working in the same clothes on hot days.

  5. The tales with the strongest punch always seem to have the least lead in. Persons like that doctor, the man’s parents, and the man himself are the real superheroes. They should make movies and other celebratory noise about them.

    • billgncs says:

      Yes, we look around at stories of the mighty, but history is full of people who stood on their convictions, ( or didn’t ) and changed the world.

      Thanks for stopping by, love your handle/name. – bw

  6. you can learn alot about people if you just get them talking and there are amazing stories to be told. Glad the janitor was brave that day.

  7. I saw your like so I know you were here, grin. I am just checking in to see how you both are and if you had posted. Huge smiles and hugs.

  8. So thought-provoking–how a light-hearted conversation can turn into a smack in the gut, a deep life-lesson. I once wrote a poem titled “Unnamed Heroes” along this line. I think most people have some of those kind of stories to tell if we but probe a little.

  9. Laura says:

    The kindness of people is truly amazing.

  10. Michelle says:

    My parents were also in China during that period. The stories are endless and startling. Thanks for sharing this one.

  11. Happy new year and best wishes to you and yours for health, happiness, peace & prosperity in 2015!

  12. Clanmother says:

    So many stories, so many heroes that are never recorded. Thank you for this one. A great way to start my Sunday. As Resa said, “Cheers to the heroes!”

  13. Resa says:

    Cheers to the heroes!… Cheers, again!

  14. Great story, life is a world wind of many things. Good and bad.

  15. SaBiscuit says:

    My favourite meal growing up was Horlicks. I was sick all the time, so liquid meals were the norm. We children had a song we made up, “Horlick kill pickney (children).” Just evil.

    • billgncs says:

      I’ve searched the internet and now I’ll give that a try! Always looking to try new foods, although I can’t do eyeballs.

      My mother was an excellent cook and used to bake the most wonderful bread. But she grew up very poor on a farm and was determined that we would always have store bought bread. We used to beg her to make us bread, but to her it was a sign of being poor.

      • SaBiscuit says:

        Hiya. It’s great to hear from you. Horlicks was a throwback to the days before I was diagnosed with wheat allergies. I was also severely asthmatic and now IT all makes sense. Please do me a favour and upload a photo of your Horlicks? Thank you.

  16. Wow Bill, what a powerful and beautiful story! ❀
    Diana xo

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