8 months ago

Attitude makes a difference

The students looked at

The students looked at each other, their grinning faces and raised eyebrows clearly betraying their delight at the thought of playing this game. "Whoever comes in first is the strongest of the three; they can take it; they can take us being rude for two minutes. But, if they catch us being rude, we lose the game. The trick is to be rude without being caught. Are you ready?" They certainly were. Riccardo called for the first volunteer. Lonny walked in, head high, looking around the room and checking that he had the attention of his classmates as he walked to the front. Riccardo stood to one side, facing the audience, and nodded to Lonny. "Okay Lonny, you’ve got two minutes, away you go." Lonny started to speak, "You know how hard it is to get fireworks," he said gleefully, waiting for some agreement from his classmates. It didn't come. He blushed, his hands shook, he continued, "and you know how they check how old you are," he said with a begging tone. His face went pale, "and you need an ID card…" he stumbled over his words and managed to keep going for a few seconds more before losing momentum completely. "Please continue, Lonny," coaxed Riccardo, "for two minutes please." Lonny braced himself and made a brave effort to continue speaking, looking desperately at his classmates for support, but not getting it, "Well, I er, I have a ..." he stammered, blushing for a few seconds and going pale the next. "He’s hurting," said the voice. "Is it time to step in?" "Probably," said Riccardo. Riccardo interrupted and said, "Lonny! You are done, you’re finished, we have heard enough. We also have to tell you something. We have been playing a game with you; we have been very rude. Did you notice?" Lonny’s face fell. He had not known. 64

"What the hell!" he clamoured, "What the bloody hell?" "It's all my fault," Riccardo interrupted. "And you just sat there and ignored me," he accused his classmates, pointing a gun finger at them. "That's not nice," he threatened, "not nice at all." "They were following my instructions, it was me," interjected Riccardo inviting Lonny to focus on him instead. "I believe you were the strongest most confident person in the room?" Riccardo stated, reminding them of the deal at the start of the lesson. "And we are learning about giving presentations," he continued, "What can we learn from this?" "What did you tell them to do?" "I invited them to be a bit rude, to ignore you and not get caught doing it," "They were bloody rude. I could see that they were ignoring me." "How?" asked Riccardo. "They were looking at me with empty eyes." "And what else?" "They didn't react when I told them about fireworks. I thought they would!" "And how did that feel?" "Like shit!" exclaimed Lonny. "If you can, tell us more about that." "I felt angry, embarrassed. Betrayed!" "Betrayed by what?" "They are supposed to be my mates," he said waving his gun finger at them again." 65

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