Charley’s World Episode Eighteen

As much as Charley enjoyed his interactions with Bea, he struggled getting to know Sam. After many attempts to understand Sam, he was finally able to put together Sam’s background. He was born into a wealthy but dysfunctional family. His mother and father had little time for him or each other.

As a child, he was sent to an exclusive preparatory academy. While he was there, he refused to participate. He hated it, and it didn’t take long before he was asked to leave. Then he was sent to a military academy where his parents thought the discipline would be just the right thing. That didn’t work either.

Sam was functionally illiterate. That combined with a poor attitude made his future uncertain. His parents disowned him, and Sam began a life on the streets. He had no way to support himself, so he began to sell drugs. He never used them himself which was maybe the only smart thing he had done in his life.

Sam was arrested in a police sting operation and was facing jail time. His public defender was able to get the judge to give Sam a diversionary sentence which involved attending Charley’s adult literacy program.

While the judge did Sam a favor, he did not do one for Charley. From his first day, Sam refused to participate. While he wasn’t disruptive, his attitude created a negative environment for the others.

Sam was often missing from the classes, and Charley had a decision to make. Should he report him to his probation officer? That would mean that Sam would go to jail. Charley warned Sam about his attitude and attendance issues, and that seemed to help for a while. Sam was very bright and was able to help others when he was of a right mind, but that didn’t happen often. Sam was a challenge for Charley and one he needed to resolve because there were more Sam’s coming.

As Charley was on his way to the Learning Center one morning, he saw Sam walking along the street. He should have been at the Learning Center. Charley was furious. He stopped his car and yelled at Sam, “Get in.” Charley was going to take Sam to the probation office, but first he had to meet with the HR director of his former employer. He decided to take Sam with him. Little did he know what that decision would mean for Sam’s life.

* * *

“A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go anywhere until you change it.” – Unknown