Everyone on the bus yelled at a young boy who refused to give up his seat to an older woman. However, the complaints faded away a few minutes later after the bus driver defended the youngster.
It was a cold wintry morning in Chicago, Illinois when a swarm of people boarded Timmy’s bus. Timmy, a chubby, hearty man in his forties, always greeted his passengers with a smile every morning they boarded his bus, but that day had been different.
Due to the heavy snowfall that morning, almost everyone at the bus stop had rushed inside to avoid the cold, making the bus more crowded than ever.
As Timmy looked through the rearview mirror, he could see how uncomfortable it had been for some passengers. Their bodies were brushing against each other, and the ones who didn’t get a seat were making a stern face at those who had.
Timmy drove a little faster despite the thick snow on the roads to save the passengers from the discomfort of riding inconveniently, and after 20 minutes, he arrived at his first stop for the day.
As a few passengers disembarked, the bus, while still crowded, appeared to have more space. Timmy breathed a sigh of relief and continued on his way to the next stop of the day, hoping to arrive sooner. However, he was startled to hear the passengers arguing.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with the kids these days! How can they be so rude?” he heard a man complain loudly.
Timmy immediately looked in the rearview mirror, but because there were so many passengers, he couldn’t figure out who had expressed their displeasure.
He initially ignored the complaint, thinking it was just a passing murmur caused by overcrowding, and continued driving. But just then, he heard another voice, this time a woman’s. “I wonder how his mother raised him. Can’t he see that the poor lady is in trouble? She’s been standing for so long!”
At this point, when Timmy looked in the mirror, he noticed a woman, probably in her late twenties, standing beside an older woman and casting a stern look at a window seat. Timmy couldn’t see who she was looking at because his gaze was fixed on the road.
However, when he looked in the mirror again, he noticed she was yelling at Jonathan, the 10-year-old boy who was a frequent passenger on his bus.
Jonathan sat quietly in his seat, his eyes wide open, staring intently at those mocking him. But the boy didn’t utter a single word, which irritated the passengers even more.
“What’s wrong with you, boy?” the woman spoke up again. “Look at those big eyes just staring at us! Don’t you have basic manners?”
“I know, right,” a man added. “I hate that these kids don’t even have sympathy for the older people. What a mannerless child! This old woman has been standing here for so long but just look at that unsympathetic brat!”
“You’re absolutely right!” a man next to him added. “These days, parents give their children far too much freedom and don’t even teach them how to behave with the elderly.”
“Well,” the older woman finally spoke up. “I really feel sorry for the young children. I don’t mind standing here, but I’m struck by how he’s listening to everything we’re saying to him while acting as if he doesn’t understand anything. It’s really unfortunate.”
“It’s his parents’ fault, ma’am,” the woman who had previously chastised Jonathan added. “If I were his mother, I would teach him right away how to treat the elderly! What a shameless kid!”
As Timmy drove further, these complaints went on and on. Some mocked Jonathan for being rude, while others questioned his upbringing. But despite the insults, the young boy didn’t utter a word. He was sitting silently in his seat, intimidated by the passengers and staring at them.
At one point, Timmy got so fed up with the voice of the passengers ridiculing the young boy that he had to pull the brakes and stop abruptly. As the vehicle stopped, it experienced a sudden jerk, which temporarily halted the passengers’ complaints and directed them at Timmy.
“What’s wrong with you?” a man lashed out at him. “Do you want to kill all of us? Can’t you drive properly?”
“It’s such a weird day! I swear!” A woman added. “First of all, the bus is crowded like anything and then all of this….”
“But it’s not my fault,” Timmy interrupted, restarting the bus. “You’ve been arguing so loudly that I can’t concentrate on driving. And why are you people yelling at that little boy to take a seat? Perhaps you could be a little more sympathetic to him.”
“You don’t have to defend him for his wrongdoings,” the older woman continued. “Because of people like you, he’ll just keep being arrogant the way he is.”
The older woman cut Timmy off before he could finish. “Keep your eyes on the road. At the very least, learn how to do your job properly.”
“I’m doing my duty, ma’am,” Timmy shot back at her. “Perhaps you could do yours as well! You can’t pass judgment on the boy if you don’t know his entire story.”
The older woman had lost her cool at this point. “I’ll tell you what, stop the bus right now! I’ll leave if this boy doesn’t get off the bus.”
Timmy didn’t say anything in response to the older woman’s complaint. He continued driving until the second stop arrived, at which he slowly rose from his seat, removed a set of crutches from the passenger bin, and proceeded to Jonathan’s seat.
He smiled at the boy and motioned to him that he had arrived at his stop in sign language. Jonathan returned his smile and gestured a thank you. He then exited the bus using the crutches.
Timmy turned to the older woman after the boy had left and told her the entire story.
“That boy is mute and limps, ma’am. His mother is a single parent. The boy travels in my bus almost every day. I know him well.”
After Timmy told the truth about the boy, all the passengers fell silent. “Oh, dear!” the older woman gasped. “I’m so sorry. I had no idea that boy was mute. Do you know where his mother lives?” she asked Timmy. “I would like to apologize to her.”
“Sure, ma’am. And next time, please don’t judge someone just like that. I hope others understand this too,” Timmy said as he handed the woman a note which contained Jonathan’s address.
The older woman, whose name was Felicia Smith, visited Jonathan and his mother the next day and learned they were living a miserable life in a broken two-room cottage in a shady neighborhood of Chicago.
It also turned out that she had fled from her abusive husband and didn’t have enough money for Jonathan’s treatment. Doctors had said Jonathan could walk normally again, but it would require expensive surgery.
Felicia, who used to be a surgeon, contacted some of her medical friends and set up an appointment for Jonathan. She also started a GoFundMe page to help the mother and son financially.
Thanks to her help, Jonathan got treated at a good hospital. His mother, Anna, thanked her several times for being a savior in their lives by getting Jonathan treated and arranging for her to work as a janitor at a hospital.
However, Anna still doesn’t know what happened between Jonathan and Felicia on the bus. When Anna asked Felicia what persuaded her to help them, she simply stated that she met Jonathan on the bus and learned his story from the bus driver, which motivated her to assist the young boy. But the truth is that Felicia felt terrible for judging the boy, so she decided to help him.
What can we learn from this story?
Learn to accept your mistakes and correct them. Felicia realized she was wrong to judge Jonathan and corrected her mistake by helping him and his mother.
Don’t jump to conclusions. Felicia and other passengers on the bus judged Jonathan without knowing the whole story.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a bride who pretends to be an orphan to exclude her poor, dirty mother from her luxury wedding.
What a wonderful story you must not judge the book by it cover thanks it is very educative