A group of visitors looking forward to having a good time were outraged and didn’t want to sit beside a filthy older woman at the theater. Hence, they had her shifted to the back row, where no one could see her. At the end of the show, they regretted their actions.
A smile played on Marla’s lips as the show’s host announced the play would start soon. She couldn’t wait any longer. She’d spent her last dollar on the ticket, which was a bit expensive, and she knew she’d be struggling for months as a result, but she didn’t regret it.
Sadly, her joy was quickly wiped away by a voice behind her. “Who allowed this woman to sit with us? She reeks of garbage meat! Guards, please kick her out!”
Marla’s eyes welled up, and she looked behind to see a woman casting a sharp look. “Yes, I’m referring to you! Ugh, how did you get in here? Did you sneak in?”
“Ma’am,” Marla said respectfully. “I deserve to be here just as much as you do. I paid…”
Never judge a person by their appearance and status.
“Oh sure,” a man laughed. “As if we’d believe that. Did you even look into the mirror before coming here? You stink, your clothes are ragged, and you look like you can’t even afford a meal! What makes you think you deserve to be seated with us?”
“Security!” he yelled. “Get this woman out of here! We don’t want to sit next to her!”
Marla tried explaining to them that she’d paid for the ticket, but they wouldn’t listen. They kept hurling insults about her appearance until the guards shifted her to a corner seat in the last row where no one could see her.
Marla wiped her tears and forced a smile on her face. She told herself not to cry. It was a special day for her. However, the visitors weren’t done ridiculing her just yet.
“Gosh! Because of her, the air here is polluted. Why didn’t the guards just kick her out?” a woman complained loudly enough for Marla to hear her.
“Calm down, honey,” her rich husband said, “It appears she had a ticket. Maybe she spent her entire life savings on it,” and laughed.
That was a terrible thing to do. Marla felt so hurt and disrespected. However, not a single person in the audience came to her support. They were all wealthy and looked down on Marla because she wasn’t as rich as them.
Soon after, the performance began, and Marla had consoled herself by that time. She always did.
As a poor woman living in a homeless shelter, Marla had seen many bad days, some worse than she experienced at the theater. She always told herself that God only helped those who stay calm in adversities. So she forgot about the insults and cheered herself up.
“Oh, these kids are doing a brilliant job!” she told herself as the live performance began. “These actors are so young but so talented,” Marla thought. “How special they are! This was worth the money, and the wait!”
The act was two hours long, but Marla didn’t realize how quickly time had passed, and the show was over. The actors held each other’s hands and bowed in front of the audience, which applauded for the excellent performance.
“You kids did a brilliant job!” shouted someone from the crowd, and the actors thanked them.
Soon after, people started leaving their seats to head to the exit when a voice stopped them. “Could you kindly take your seats, ladies, and gentlemen? We’d like to introduce you to someone special today! Our special guest for tonight,” a young actor announced.
Soon the entire audience was grumbling in confusion. Marla, too, was confused. They weren’t informed about the special guest before.
The young actor smiled and continued, “Everyone, please welcome the woman who helped us reach where we are today. We were a group of irresponsible teenagers who were despised by our entire school, yet she believed in us. She was the only teacher who was always there for us.”
Then the young man went up to Marla and invited her to the stage. “Mrs. Adams, may I have the honor of escorting you to the stage?”
The audience was stunned at this point. The crowd just couldn’t believe the woman they had ridiculed was the special guest.
Marla walked to the stage in tears, and the performers rushed to embrace her. “Oh, I didn’t expect you to remember me. How—how have you kids been?” she sobbed.
“Absolutely incredible, Mrs. Adams,” the young guy exclaimed as he turned to face the audience. “Ladies and gentlemen, if we are confidently performing today, it is because of Mrs. Adams. We saw how she was treated a while back, and to put it mildly, we were disappointed.”
“We didn’t expect such dignified folks to treat her in this manner. Mrs. Adams constantly encouraged us not to disrespect elders, and she doesn’t deserve to be disrespected either. We recently discovered she is living in a homeless shelter,” he continued, and a loud gasp rang out in the hall.
“Yes, unfortunately, that’s true. Her children kicked her out and took over the house. We organized today’s show to raise funds and get her a new home, and we want to hold future performances with the same goal in mind.”
“If we can find a sponsor, it will greatly help Mrs. Adams. So, yeah, that’s where my speech today ends, and I’d appreciate it if you could apologize to her. She deserves that. Thank you.”
There was pin-drop silence in the hall, and Marla was in tears. “Kids, it’s okay,” she said. “I am happy to meet my children. That’s enough, and—” She didn’t get to finish as one by one, the people from the crowd approached her and apologized to her. Some were too proud to regret their actions, but who cares about them anyway? Marla had a big heart, and she forgave everyone.
And the rich woman who had insulted Marla earlier had a change of heart, and she offered to donate a considerable sum to help Marla.
What can we learn from this story?
Kindness is what matters, not money. Due to Marla’s kind heart and belief in her ex-pupils, she got respect, love, and apology from the arrogant rich visitors.
Never judge a person by their appearance and status. Most visitors regretted their harsh words after they learned how special Marla was to the actors and how she had helped them.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.