Janitor's Son Teaches His Teacher a Lesson about Faith at 20 Years Class Reunion – Story of the Day

Johnny was the “ugly duckling” for most of his life. And because he was the janitor’s son, no one believed in his potential.  20 years later guy teaches them a lesson on faith. 

Do you know of people whose lives have been tough since the day they were born? Johnny is one of them. His father left his mother pregnant and walked out on them. 

She wasn’t working at the time and had no one to help her. But the woman didn’t break. She moved on for her little son. It was just the two of them and she promised Johnny they would get through it together. 

Boy sweeping the floor | Source: Shutterstock

Boy sweeping the floor | Source: Shutterstock

The woman could barely make ends meet and the solution was to get three jobs. Even on her days off, she would toss an extra job like sitting the neighbor’s children or cleaning someone’s house. But her main job was at Johnny’s school, where she worked as a janitor. 

Because she was constantly tired from her other jobs, the woman worked extra hours so that she could finish it. She was lucky to have such a kind-hearted son -- Johnny was never ashamed or embarrassed to be the janitor’s son. He always stayed after his classes to help her finish.

Once she told him he didn’t need to do that. The boy replied, “I know mom, but I do it because I want to help you get home earlier, so we can have dinner together.”

Teacher conducting class | Source: Unsplash / National Cancer Institute

Teacher conducting class | Source: Unsplash / National Cancer Institute

His mom didn’t have money to buy new clothes or shoes for him. So Johnny’s wardrobe was composed of old and ripped garments and donations. His classmates used to make fun of him because of that. 

Even the teachers used to pick at him too. One of the teachers used to call him in front of the whole class to lecture him. 

One day, before delivering the results of an exam to the students, she called him: “Johnny, can you please come here? I’m not happy with your results. What’s wrong? Maybe you should stop helping your mom and find yourself more time to study.”

Boy writing on a paper | Source: Unsplash / Jessica Lewis

Boy writing on a paper | Source: Unsplash / Jessica Lewis

Even during the graduation ball, in which Johnny thought he’d finally have some peace of mind, the teacher still picked on him. 

The whole class heard the last thing she told him, “Just because this is your graduation, always remember this -- a janitor’s son will never become a director,” and continues with a mocking face, “and the director’s son will never become a janitor!”

A close up of a toga cap | Source: Unsplash /  Tai's Captures

A close up of a toga cap | Source: Unsplash / Tai's Captures

Johnny was sick and tired of this whole thing. After graduation, he promised he’d never allow anyone to look down on him, mock him, or bully him because he was poor. 

He arrived home from the ball, looked at himself in the mirror, and said, “Johnny, you’re gonna prove all these people wrong!”

20 years had gone by since his graduation. No one from Johnny’s classmates heard of him during those years. One day, he received an invitation to an event on Facebook. “Class Reunion -- Class of 2000, 20 years later!” “Oh no,” he thought. “I don’t want to deal with these people,” he shared with his wife. 

She said, “Maybe it’s a good idea if you go, babe. It’s just a dinner…” 

“You’re right,” Johnny replied. 

Picture of a dining set | Source: Unsplash / Zakaria Zayane

Picture of a dining set | Source: Unsplash / Zakaria Zayane

The reunion took place at one of the best restaurants in town. The class teacher was invited too. The teacher wanted to know how the students were doing in life.

Somebody became a successful manager, someone became a taxi driver, some didn’t have jobs. After hearing from everyone, the teacher turned to Johnny who was sitting in front of her, and asked him: “What about you Johnny, who did you become?”

Johnny never appreciated being the center of attention, so when she asked him that, the man was embarrassed and didn’t want to say much. “I build houses,” he softly said.

“So, you’re a construction worker?” she asks.

“Yeah, something like that…” The man didn’t want to prolong the conversation so he changed the subject. “What about ordering desserts?”

Dish on white ceramic plate | Source: Unplash / Jay Wennington

Dish on white ceramic plate | Source: Unplash / Jay Wennington

When the evening was coming to an end, Johnny shocked everyone by saying, “I’ll pay for our bill.” Billy, who is now a taxi driver, replied “Oh, don’t do that Johnny, it must be a fortune!”

The teacher also said, “Darling, don’t try to impress us and get yourself in debt.”

Johnny looked at the woman and with a smile on his face -- a smile he’s been holding on to for 20 years and said -- “That’s fine, I own this restaurant.”

Man wearing a suit | Source: Unplash / Javier Reyes

Man wearing a suit | Source: Unplash / Javier Reyes

Everyone was shocked. But Johnny still kept impressing them. When the evening was over, his driver took his teacher home in a luxury car. 

“Johnny,” asked the teacher, while looking at him, “You’re not a blue-collar worker, are you?”

“No, not anymore,” replied Johnny. "The last thing you said at our graduation ball shifted something inside me. At first, I felt bad about my life situation, but with time, it worked like fuel."

Black BMW | Source: Unplash / Jakob Rosen

Black BMW | Source: Unplash / Jakob Rosen

“All the harassment and humiliation I suffered as a little boy were actually the best thing that could’ve happened to me,” he said, stopping to stare at the window. “That’s why I am where I am now, Mrs. Muller.”

It turned out Johnny was the owner of a big construction company and turned himself into a self-made millionaire. The man was humble and discreet, that’s why his formers classmates didn’t recognize him.  He frequented the papers, but he changed his surname. 

As for his mother, she's been enjoying her retirement for a while now. 

Man standing next to a bathtub | Source: Unsplash /  Ishan @seefromthesky

Man standing next to a bathtub | Source: Unsplash / Ishan @seefromthesky

What can we learn from this story?

  1. It doesn’t matter where you come from, stay decent. Johnny never held grudges against the people who mocked and bullied him. He was a decent and polite man who treated people with respect, regardless of his financial situation. 
  2. Don’t belittle people. His teacher mistreated him because he was the janitor’s son. If he was the director’s son, as she said during graduation, she’d have treated him differently. 

Share this story with your friends. It might inspire people to share their own stories or to help someone else.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a man who needed a break from his wife and their 5 kids and was taught a life lesson.

This account is inspired by a subscriber's story. All names have been changed to protect identities and ensure privacy. If you would like to share your story with us, please send it to info@amomama.com

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