We all see things in public that make us angry. Maybe what really gets your goat is watching someone throw litter on the ground. Or maybe it upsets you when people are rude to waitresses. But whatever it is, this story is undoubtedly more extreme than anything you’ve ever witnessed before.
Imagine the scene: you’re sitting in a restaurant enjoying your meal, and close to your table is a family where a mom sits with her son and daughter. And there’s something about them that draws your attention.
After all, the little boy is black, and the mom and little girl are white. Perhaps this brings you to the conclusion that the little boy is likely to be adopted. And at first, you admire the mother for welcoming a child in need into her family.
But that feeling begins to fade when you hear snippets of their conversation. In fact, the parts you catch are troubling, and something seems amiss with the way the mom is talking to her kids.
The boy initially appears excited to be at the restaurant, politely telling his mom, “Thank you so much for bringing me here!” But when the waiter comes over, the boy is stopped from ordering what he wants. In contrast, his sister is allowed a vanilla milkshake to go with the fizzy drink already sitting in front of her.
Meanwhile, the son sits there with only a glass of water, looking dejected as the waiter leaves. And when the milkshake arrives, he looks at it in awe. His mother then tells him that he can have his sister’s “leftovers.”
You find this unbelievable. After all, the mother is quite clearly favoring the girl over the boy. And what’s worse is that the mom’s shameful behavior doesn’t even stop there.
At one point, the daughter starts drumming her hands on the table, and it’s an annoying distraction for other people in the restaurant. Soon, the son joins in too. But, shockingly, the mom chooses only to reprimand the boy.
And then it gets even worse. Hamburgers and fries arrive for the mom and daughter, whereas the boy receives only a plate of fries. He subsequently asks his mom why he couldn’t have a hamburger too, and her response is truly jaw-dropping.
Firstly, she tells him that she only receives a certain amount of money per month to look after him. She then adds that he should be more “appreciative,” warning him that if she “sends him back,” no one else will adopt him.
This is the final straw; you simply cannot believe the way that this mother is treating her adopted son. So you jump to your feet and step in; this mother needs to know that is it not acceptable to treat a child in this way.
You can’t stop yourself from blurting out your thoughts. “If you’re going to bring someone into your household, you treat them the same way that you treat your kids,” you say to the mother, and an argument ensues. But then you spot something out of the corner of your eye.
A giant light, a camera and a whole TV crew are walking towards you. What is going on? Fortunately, it’s not long before it dawns on you that this whole scene has been a set-up. In fact, it’s part of a stunt organized by the TV show What Would You Do?.
That’s right, the scene described above was entirely contrived. The mother, daughter and son were all actors, and thankfully there was no real abuse going on in the restaurant. Still, a YouTube video uploaded by the show’s creators revealed that there were plenty of other people who stepped in to help the little boy that day.
One woman, for instance, overheard the mom telling the boy that he couldn’t have anything on the menu that cost more than $4. She consequently leant over to the family and said that she would put his meal on her bill. Next, she told him that he could have whatever he wanted, prompting an adorable reaction.
He ran over to her table and gave the woman a huge hug to say thank you. The boy remained at her table for a while, making it quite obvious that he didn’t want to go back to his own. Then the woman had a bright idea and whispered something to the boy.
In a bid to save the boy from his seemingly dreadful mother, she said to him, “I want to write your name down for me, OK? And your phone number.” Then she reached for a pen and paper.
At that moment, the TV crew stepped forward and she too realized that she had been set up. The host asked her what she was going to do with the boy’s name and number, and she replied that she would have reported the mother.
It’s reassuring to see that normal people are willing to step in when they see something that isn’t right – especially when it involves a child. It proves to us all that if this were to happen in real life, there is something we can do to help.
Unfortunately, though, there are still foster parents out there who take advantage of the system financially while neglecting their foster children. So let’s hope that this show helped to raise awareness and that one day the problem can be eradicated altogether.