For the past few weeks, a story has been making the national rounds about Florida State University’s Wide-Receiver, Travis Rudolph, who visited a local middle school and in an act of kindness, sat with a student named Bo, who was all alone at the lunch table. There weren’t just a few empty seats around him, but Bo was at an entirely empty table, sitting solo, in an otherwise crowded middle school lunchroom.
Having a form of autism, none of the other students wanted to be near the 6th grade boy, who appeared later in the many interviews to be quite charming and pleasant. Knowing he ate alone most days, Bo’s mother constantly worried about him, so when a teacher’s aide spotted the FSU football star eating with Bo, she snapped a photo and sent it to his mother to let her know for once, her son was having a great time at lunch.
As an FSU alumna, I was proud of Travis Rudolph’s compassion, but as a former teacher, in Tallahassee, no less, I wondered why this situation had been allowed to go on since the beginning of the school year, as was reported.
Middle school students are basically good kids who don’t always think clearly. Most of them are well meaning, but afraid to act. All it would have taken was for an influential teacher to gather a small group of the most confident students and say, “Hey, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but . . . click HERE to read the rest of the story.
I love this story, it brought tears to my eyes. Parents need to make their children more aware. What a difference one act of kindness can make. What an outstanding young man, wishing him an amazing career.
Thanks Jeannie. I’m watching him play now on TV!
This is yet another example of why I wish we could clone you so your voice and natural reason could be heard everywhere! People have forgotten how to even be civil to one another in these “me- me- me- selfie instagram” days. I know you were so proud of your alum football player, and I think that one simple act of kindness caught national attention, and did make a difference…it inspired you to speak out, and hopefully others too will spread this important message
Thanks Jenna. I think I’d have to repeat this great story, even if he’d been a . . . (choke) Gator! (Thank you dear God for letting him be a Seminole!!!!). And by the way, Travis also graduated from my husband’s high school alma mater! Doubly proud!
Thanks Leslie Anne for a beautifully written piece. I was taught to always look out for the underdog…I could never bear to see someone sitting alone and still can’t. Simple acts of kindness last a lifetime for all of us! Blessings, Pam @ Everyday Living
Good for you Pam. Tell your parents we said thanks for raising you right!
I love this story. There is no way to measure the impact for good the FSU football players act of kindness might have on all of the students for years to come.
It only takes a spark, to get a fire going . . . pass it on!
Beautifully said. This is how I was brought up — “to befriend the underdog” as my father put it. Nice to know that there is still a young man out there who obviously was taught the same thing.
I love that . . . befriend the underdog. I guess we never know when we may be the underdog!
I agree with your comment about Bo sitting alone since the beginning of the year. Any adult should have bridged that gap and not allow this to happen this long. I am proud an adult assessed the situation and took action in the simplest form-KINDNESS!!
There is a litte girl, Claire, that is now in Fairhope Junior High. Well, in elementary school she created a kindness group. This small group of elementary kids would create a bond with any new student. They would sit with the new student(s) at lunch, introduce them to other friends. Once the new student was acclimated to their environment, they became part of that group. Essentially, the group were simply friends creating bonds. A amazing snowball effect.
What a great story, and what an amazingly mature thing for Claire to do! Even adults have trouble walking into a new group of people and are usually grateful for one person to reach out and invite them to join their conversation or to sit with them. People will be drawn to Clair for her kindness.