Thursday, May 21, 2015

Believe in Yourself

"You need to finish your math assignment," said Ms. Carver to young Frankie.

"I can't do it," replied Frankie.

"Frankie, you know you can do anything if put your mind to it," she replied. "You need to go in and talk to Mr. Potts, the principal."

"Now what is this you are saying about not being able to do things?" said Mr. Potts. "You must know that is heresy. If you can just believe in yourself, you can do anything you want to do. You need to get over this low self-image of yours or we may have to expel you from this school"

Frankie sat sullenly.

"This is the new sleep teacher," said Mr. Potts, holding up something that looked like a box with wires coming out in every direction. "You put it on at night and it sends a message directly into your brain, teaching you to believe in yourself."

Frankie did not have much confidence in the machine, but he did not want to get expelled either, so he took it. That night he plugged it in and followed the complicated instructions to attach it to the top of his head. He then fell soundly asleep.

The next morning his mother had produced him a breakfast of bacon and eggs from the food generator. "I don't want that," Frankie growled. And he pushed the buttons on the generator to produce two cinnamon rolls. As he left the house he saw the hurt look on his mother's face. But he had to believe in himself, after all.

On the way to school he ran into Becky Smith. He had always wanted to ask her out, but been too shy. "You do want to go out with me," he said to her forcefully.

"Not if you're going to take that attitude," she replied.

"What's the problem with my attitude; I believe in myself. And you are going to go out with me."

"No, I'm not. Now go away."

"You're really not that good-looking after all," he said, walking by. "I'm sure I can do better."

Next Frankie ran into Joe, the school bully. He was rushing down the hall and walked past Frankie, nearly knocking him down. "Out of my way," Joe pronounced belligerently.

"You can't treat me like that," retorted Frankie. "I'm a valuable human being, just like you."

"Oh yeah?" responded Joe, turning with fists cocked.

Later, in the school's infirmary, the nurse was cleaning up his black eye and bloody nose. "I understand your wanting to stand up to Joe," remarked the nurse. "But you need to be more careful about it."

"I need to believe in myself," returned Frankie.

Later at lunch he saw Becky Smith talking in a friendly way to, of all people, Joe. Frankie scrambled stealthily  up the hill behind them. He found a heavy metal trash barrel about two-thirds full. It had wheels for the garbage-bots to drag it away with. Frankie gave it a good push down the hill to where Joe and Becky were standing.

Mr. Potter scowled. "I do not know whether you care, but neither one of them were seriously injured," he snapped, looking at Frankie.

Frankie said nothing, but looked sullen.

Mr. Potter continued, "You have become a bully and a ruffian. If you do not stop this behavior, we will have to expel you."

"That's all right," responded Frankie. "I don't need your education anyway. I believe in myself."

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