Into this situation came a kid. No one knew his name, but people called him J.B. He was a short kid, the kind some considered sweet. But all that sweetness boiled away once he started berating anyone who acquiesced to the power of the school's rigid conformity.
Even though he complied with the dress code, he had a book that he carried everywhere he went. There was no rule against such a possession, but since no one else was doing it, it set him apart. Seeing the book, anyone knew who was holding it.
This defiance attracted J.B. followers. Everyday, he could be seen protesting the actions of the Student Council and administration. Anything that reeked of injustice triggered his alarm, from lunch price increases to water fountain taxes. And when he wasn't protesting, he managed to find time to take care of the students. He filled a void that the school failed to provide just by listening and tying people's shoes.
See, tying one's shoes is an unconscious reflex, one that requires little thought, and is usually an independent task. J.B. flipped this paradigm on its head and began showing people that someone was available who cared. This simple gesture of kindness, absent for several years, ignited a sense of passion for Lyons Central and fury towards the administration that kept the school's potential in check. People felt that J.B. might be the leader they needed who would have the strength to unite the whole school into a revolution. But when J.B. heard the rumor, he quickly moved to deflect attention from himself.
"I am not the one you seek. Another will come in the future and will be your leader, will invigorate your spirits, and tear down the barriers to successful lives." Turning to a group of frightened administrators who saw the raw power in the crowd, he said, "I can't tell you when your judgement day will come, or even if it will be in our lifetimes. My only job is to plant the seed of change in the hope that someone else will water it."
A leader refusing power? The students seemed to have had enough for the day, and walked away, dejected, and hoping for real change. "Still", some of them thought, "This may just be a taste of future victories."
But while the students may have forgotten the initial rush of power they felt, the teachers did not forget the sheer terror of a mob on the rise. Moving swiftly, and under the cover of night to hide their shady intentions, J.B. quickly and quietly disappeared. But not before he had the chance to tie someone's shoes, and to J.B.'s surprise, get his own shoes tied in return.