Stories of Kindness from Around the World

An Hour That Made All The Difference In My Life

--by kayazdani, posted Jan 19, 2015
There are a few people who have passed through my life who I say I would never be able to repay. One of them who left the most impact was my art teacher Mr. Cataldo.

I went to a very rough middle school and that is a difficult age to be in an unsafe environment. I was bullied and mistreated on a regular basis. Perhaps the other students could see the victim in me, but all of that changed the day that I came into art class.

Mr. Cataldo let every student of his know that this was a safe zone and no bullying or bad behavior could happen on his watch. He fostered a good environment for learning and growing. It was only an hour a day, but it saved my life at the time. So thanks, Mr.C for giving me a little haven of peace in an otherwise dark and disturbing middle school experience. I think about you often!
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Readers Comments

sandyremillar wrote: Very touching story. We need more mr. Cs! Glad he could help. Thank you for sharing your story!
kayazdani wrote: I do try to pay it forward. I hold a free childrens class every saturday and art features prominently in the lesson. We also have cooperative games and outdoor activities. :)
starlight55 wrote: You have my empathy. We went through similar coming-of-age experiences, some quite painful. And like you i also had mentors that without them i don't know what kind of being i'd be today. It is said that that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger. And look at you now, a teacher yourself, giving from the heart to the under-served. Thank you for inspiring us to be better persons. Enjoy the journey!
Annc wrote: Teachers often do not realize the lasting difference they can make on a person's life. I too have had a few teachers who taught me far more than book lessons. I am so glad mr. Cataldo came into your life. I hope that you will have the opportunity to thank him both personally and by paying his kindness forward.
k3lly83 wrote: Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story. :)

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