My Brother-in-Law Belittled My Husband for Being a Teacher — Days Later, Karma Brought Him Down to Earth

My husband David is a passionate teacher, and at our family reunion, my brother-in-law Tom, a wealthy but haughty lawyer, made fun of him. A few days later, Tom experienced a humiliating encounter on a packed bus that altered his perception of respect and achievement as karma struck when his Ferrari broke down.


I’m 37 years old, and my name is Sarah. My parents’ house hosts an annual family reunion that brings us all together for a weekend of catching up and sharing memories. With the exception of my brother-in-law Tom’s customary spectacular entrance, this year was the same.


Tom is a well-known corporate attorney who enjoys showing off his money in addition to his keen legal intellect. This time, he drove an eye-catching red Ferrari that begged for attention, and arrived stylishly late.


Tom revved the engine to signal his approach as he pulled up, greeting the family in the front yard. After turning their heads, everyone gathered around the car to admire its opulent appearance and sophisticated design.

Tom reveled in the praise, soaking in the affirmations and gloating about his most recent purchase. He talked about the car’s top speed, opulent interior, and exorbitant price tag while wearing a smug smile. Naturally, the topic of jobs and money came up as we sat at the dinner table, enjoying our food and one other’s company.

My husband, David, started telling a heartwarming tale of one of his pupils who had surmounted major challenges to achieve. Everyone was briefly enthralled with David’s story because of the warmth and pride in his voice.

That is, until Tom took the chance to say something. “You realize that on a teacher’s salary you’ll never own a car like mine,” he remarked, slouching back in his chair with a sly smile. You ought to have set higher goals.

His words sliced through the air, making it seem cold. Tom’s haughtiness broke the momentary happiness of the reunion, causing everyone gathered around the table to go silent.

My sister Lisa, who is also Tom’s wife, didn’t slack off. With an air of entitlement, she said, “Really, David, why did you settle for such a menial job? You wouldn’t have to have such an ordinary existence if you were ambitious.

David, ever the calm and gentle man, just grinned and shrugged. “I love what I do,” he quietly retorted. “I get a sense of purpose from teaching that money can’t buy.”

My parents looked at one other anxiously; they were obviously upset over the nasty remarks made about David. My mother tried to shift the topic by clearing her throat. “So, Tom, how have things been going at work lately?”

Tom wasn’t finished, though. He declared, “Oh, it’s been fantastic,” oblivious to the tension in the room. “I just closed a significant deal last week.” These Ferraris might be purchased with the bonus alone.

David attempted to refocus the topic. “You know, I recently gave a scholarship to one of my students.”

Once more, Tom cut me off. “That’s fantastic, David, but you could really do so much better for yourself. instructing? Come on, please.

Lisa agreed and nodded. “Sarah, don’t you think you deserve more than just barely getting by?”

I was fuming within. How could Tom and Lisa treat David in such a demeaning way? I looked at David, and he smiled comfortingly back at me, but I could see the pain in his eyes.

“David’s contributions are immensely significant,” I exclaimed, unable to contain myself. “Every day, he is changing lives.”

“Yes, Sarah,” Tom curtly said. “However, at what expense?”

Under the table, my head whirling with rage and wrath, I squeezed David’s hand. I tried not to let my voice waver as I added, “You know, Tom, not everyone defines success by the size of their bank account or the price tag on their car.”

Tom rolled his eyes. “Well, perhaps they ought to.”

Once more, my dad attempted to defuse the situation. “Let’s all simply savor our dinner. Not to dispute, but to spend time together is why we are here.

However, the harm had already been done. The remainder of the family, obviously impacted by the tension, sat in awkward quiet.

I thought about my alternatives while I sat there, furious. There was a part of me that wanted to snap, set Tom and Lisa straight, and stand up for David’s honor at that very moment. However, I was aware that doing so would simply worsen the circumstances and increase hostility at the reunion.

Rather, I inhaled deeply and decided to wait it out. I believed that karma would eventually find a way to teach Tom a lesson and that his haughtiness would finally catch up with him. I concentrated on helping David for the time being, giving him a firm squeeze to reassure him that I would always be by his side.

David came home with a story that made me grin a few days after the reunion. He said, “You won’t believe what happened to Tom today,” as he sat down next to me after putting his luggage down.

“What took place?” Curious, I asked.

David started out by saying, “Well, his Ferrari broke down on his way to a big meeting.” “He discovered he had left his wallet at home and that his phone was almost dead, leaving him completely stranded.”

I arched an eyebrow. “Karma?”

“Undoubtedly,” David laughed.

Tom’s day took a terrible turn when, en route to a crucial meeting, his Ferrari broke down. He was stranded and angry when he realized his phone was almost dead and he had left his wallet at home.

Reluctantly, having nowhere else to go, he headed for the closest bus stop. Among the commuters, his elegant suit and polished shoes gave him a somewhat odd appearance.

Tom had a sense of embarrassment as he got on the packed bus. He clutched a pole to steady himself as the bus rocked as it drove away from the stop. Peering around, he was frightened to discover his brother-in-law, David, sitting at the rear, reading a book with composure.

With a composed smile, David raised his gaze. With a wave, he gestured for Tom to come along. Tom had little choice but to navigate the crowded bus, apologizing to other passengers as he ran into them. When he eventually got to David, he sat down and looked visibly uncomfortable.

“What brings you here, then?” David enquired in a kind but slightly sarcastic tone.

“My vehicle broke down,” Tom said, looking visibly ashamed. “It will be in the shop for several days.”

With a constant smile, David nodded. “Well, I commute like this every day. Once you get used to it, the bus isn’t all that horrible.

Tom was having a hard time staying calm as the bus carried on. The rough journey and cramped space were wearing him down. The bus abruptly struck a pothole, causing Tom to lose his balance and fall into the elderly woman’s stern lap. She gave him a stern reprimand, making other passengers giggle. Tom’s face became a vibrant red.

A mechanical problem caused the bus to come to a sudden stop. The bus driver informed them that this one could not go on, so they would have to wait for another. Tom got off the bus into the rain, muttering under his breath in exasperation.

It became worse when his phone rang. His supervisor was there, enraged at the called meeting. Tom was severely chastised and lost a significant client as a result of his reasons being ignored.

It was even more packed when the replacement bus eventually showed up. Tom was crammed between two bulky, perspiring passengers, the journey made excruciatingly hot by the malfunctioning air conditioning. His pricey shoes were covered in muck and his fine suit was drenched in perspiration by the time he arrived at his destination.

Tom stumbled off the bus and fell into a puddle due to the damp pavement. David reached out to give him a hand as he stumbled to his feet. “You know, it was a rough day?” David spoke, barely able to contain his laughter.

Deflated, Tom looked up. “You’re clueless,”

Tom was embarrassed, disorganized, and late for work when he eventually made it there. His supervisor was anticipating his arrival, not pleased with his demeanor or his justifications. He was demoted right away, stripped of his prominent office, and forced to work in a small cubicle. Tom would never easily forget the painful lesson he had learned that day about respect and humility.

There was a noticeable difference in the atmosphere during the next family get-together. My parents’ house was the gathering place, and I couldn’t help but feel excited. Tom, who was typically the first to show off his newfound success and possessions, seemed remarkably reserved. Without the customary hoopla, he arrived on time and parked his now-repaired Ferrari subtly down the street.

Tom astonished everyone by raising his hand in a modest way over supper. “David, I owe you an apology,” he said, glancing at my husband. With every eye on him, the room went silent.

David looked up, obviously surprised. “Tom, for what?”

“For my actions during the previous get-together,” Tom went on. “I was disrespectful and denigrated your profession in an entirely unacceptable way. Success, I’ve come to understand, isn’t determined by material belongings. It’s about changing the world, which is what teachers do all day long.

David gave me a kind smile. “Tom, thank you. That has great significance.

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