A spoiled, rich boy who rides to school daily in an SUV is forced to walk to school. He whines over the long route and throws a fit until a boy in a wheelchair shows him the true meaning of ‘overcoming obstacles.’
13-year-old Ryan was a lazy video game addict who always required the help of their housekeeper for everything, including getting him ready for school.
His rich father noticed how pampered and spoiled his son was becoming, so he decided to set things right. One day, the boy was running late for school. He was certain his father would get him there in his SUV in no time. But he was wrong…
“Go on, get ’em…get ’em!” Ryan was busy on his gaming console. He was so distracted playing that he had no time to put on his socks and shoes, so the housekeeper did it for him.
“Dad, I’m ready. Let’s go!” he shouted, grabbing his backpack and an apple from the table.
Ryan’s dad, Alex, always dropped him at school even though it was just a seven-minute walk from their home. For Ryan, that would seem like a hundred tiring miles.
He cozied himself on the passenger seat and kept himself busy playing games on his dad’s phone. When he least expected it, his dad asked him to get out of the car and walk to school instead.
“What? Dad, are you kidding me? I can’t carry this heavy backpack to school on foot. Please drop me off, dad,” he grumbled. “I’m not used to walking, and everyone will tease me. Rich kids who own posh cars like ours don’t walk to school. At least, I’m not ready to do that. Dad, c’mon, take me to school!”
We can overcome even the biggest obstacle with determination and willpower.
But Alex wouldn’t budge. Instead, he turned a deaf ear, helped Alex put on his backpack, and waved goodbye before taking off on an extended business trip. “You are a grown-up boy now, Ryan! Stop groaning and just walk. Get used to it. See you later!” he said, driving past a stunned Ryan.
The boy stared at the long road ahead and grumbled. He was afraid of the many taunts he would hear from his classmates. He loved showing off his dad’s costly SUV at school. It was his symbol of pride. So walking to school seemed like an insult to him. He was ashamed and started whining.
“Hey, look, the rich kid in our class! Why is he walking? Where’s his dad’s SUV today?!” he heard a boy on a bike tell another.
“He’s a crybaby! Look at him whining. He always skips classes, so maybe his dad punished him for getting those poor grades!” mocked another.
Ryan wanted to run back home. He was terribly embarrassed, but he kept walking.
“Phew!” He was panting when he got to the school gate. He entered his classroom and slumped on the chair. He was exhausted. He wasn’t used to walking, even for a few minutes. Such a lazy boy Ryan was.
Meanwhile, a boy named Mike entered the classroom in a wheelchair. Though he was new in class, all the boys and girls welcomed him warmly, much to Ryan’s frustration.
The next day, Ryan threw a tantrum at home, complaining about why he needed to walk to school. He pestered his mother to drop him, but that was not in Alex’s plan. He had strictly prohibited everyone from driving Ryan to school unless he learned to behave and quit being lazy.
So the next few days, the boy had no choice but to walk to school. One day, just as he left home grumbling, he saw Mike alone on the road, pushing his wheelchair.
Curious, Ryan slowed down and approached him. “Hey, what are you doing alone? Don’t you have someone to help you?” asked Ryan.
Mike was new to the neighborhood and lived just a few blocks from Ryan’s house. He moved in with his grandparents recently after he lost his ability to walk in a car crash that also killed his parents.
“Why do you ride by yourself? Aren’t you tired? You can take the school bus…I’m sure they will take kids like you!” Ryan said, unaware of how his hurtful words would offend poor Mike. But the boy, instead of getting angry, stopped and turned around.
“Because that’s how I train! I don’t depend on anyone to do things for me. I do them by myself.” he said, stunning Ryan, who had no idea how his perspectives on life were just about to change.
“Before my dad died in the hospital, he held my hand and told me that I should be strong and not be disheartened by my condition, because nobody would stand up for me except myself,” revealed Mike.
“So I promised him that one day, I would be a good boxer and win in a boxing competition. I told him I would never let anyone hurt me, emotionally and physically. I train hard daily at home and at the rehab center for specially-abled people like me. I might not be able to walk, but that does not make me weak or inferior.”
Hearing Mike’s words, Ryan’s conscience began to question himself. He reflected on the careless attitude he’d harbored all his life and felt guilty.
“Wait, what are you doing?” Mike was startled as Ryan began to push his wheelchair forward.
“But why would you want to do that? And why have you been walking to school lately? Doesn’t your dad have a car?”
“Yes, he does. But from now on, I’m never going to take his car to school. I’ve wasted so much time being lazy and taking things for granted. And you made me realize how we can overcome even the biggest obstacle with determination and willpower. I want to train with you after school. Will you take me along?”
From that day onward, Ryan and Mike were inseparable and became best friends. Ryan always took a stand for Mike. He quit wasting time on video games, did his work without relying on anyone, and never boasted about his wealth. He never rode to school anymore, nor did he complain about walking long distances again.
When Alex returned, he was surprised at the drastic change in his son’s behavior. He learned that Mike was responsible for it and realized the boy was just like his son but with an extraordinary goal. In the end, Alex offered to adopt Mike as his second son because he wished to see both the boys grow up together.