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  • I was sitting with my group of volunteers who were lounging around chatting and getting to know each other. A guy who had been on the kibbutz for six months was enjoying telling us what life was like living in the community.

    “When I have finished my year I’m going back to London to get married to my fiancé. Here’s her photo.” He told the whole group and handed out a photo to be passed around us. “She is a bit dumpy but I can’t give up the chance to get married to her, her father is a millionaire. I’m not sure if I am up for such a big responsibility, so I’m having my last fling before I go home.”

    Something about the way he was talking about his fiancé waiting at home really annoyed me. The photo finally came round to me. I know this girl, I thought. She lives in my neighbourhood. I had no idea her father was so rich. Her whole family were short and round and extremely sweet and kind.

    “I know Delia, she lives near my parents,” I told Ron.

    To my surprise he didn’t look embarrassed or ashamed that he had been bragging about marrying her for her money.

    I could not get Delia out of my mind for the next few weeks. I thought of her, obviously in love, waiting patiently for a whole year to see her fiancé again. I felt sad that her future with this guy would not give her the happiness she deserved.

    As I got to know my way round the Kibbutz I became aware that Ron was living with a very beautiful Sabra who had blond hair and blue eyes; and was obviously very much in love with him. I wrestled with my conscience. Should I write to this sweet girl’s family; was it any business of mine to tamper with other people’s lives? Was I too eager and interfering in my wish to support Delia?

    One evening when I was sitting listening to music with my friends Ron tried to get intimate with me.
    That was it! He didn’t even respect his present lover’s feelings. All I wanted was for Delia to have the relationship that every girl dreamed of, a fiancé who really loved her and respected her.

    I wrote to my friend Roselyn explaining what was happening and suggesting that her parents broached the matter with Delia’s parents. I went through my routine working in the citrus orchard feeling like an eighteen year old busy body; and kept a low profile around Ron and his girlfriend.

    A couple of months later Roselyn sent a letter to me telling me that Delia’s parents had been very worried about her engagement to Ron and the engagement had been called off.

    A few months later I was called away from my usual work in the orchard to inject some chickens. This is going to be a challenge, I told myself.

    It turned out that I was expected to inoculate seventy chickens in a large crowded pen. I picked up my first chicken tenderly and gently jabbed at its leg with a syringe. “No, not like that,” the supervisor said. He showed me how to pick up two chickens at a time by grabbing their legs then throwing them away, to flap squawking back to their feeding bowls.

    To my surprise, later in the afternoon, Sharon, Ron’s lover came to see how I was getting on
    “It was supposed to be my job today, but I’m not feeling very well,” she explained. “Come back to my place and I will make you a cup of tea.”
    After chatting about the chickens and why I was in the kibbutz she told me, “thank you so much for telling Delia’s family about Ron. It has been very difficult for me knowing that Ron was eventually going to return to London and get married. I love him so much and we get on so well with each other.”

    I was amazed that she knew what I had done and was extremely pleased that I had been able to help her. It seemed that Rob himself had admitted that he was probably subconsciously asking for someone to take the initiative for him to take the right step.

    Then I was delighted to hear a few weeks later that Delia was engaged to a very sweet guy who I knew and they were very happy together.

    Question: I would not dream of interfering with people’s lives now. Was I right to take that step when I was eighteen and tell Delia’s parents? What would have happened if I had not changed Delia’s fate?
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