Author's note: I wrote this a couple years ago and, although my writing style has since matured, I decided that... Show full author's note »
The QuestionWhen everyone was assembled in the dining room, and dinner had been started, Andy spoke.
“I suppose I probably should have guessed that you would notice the lack of robots. I didn’t pick the smartest orphans in the country for nothing. Anyways, some people call me a hater. They say that I don’t know what I’m talking about, and that I should just mind my own business. I would, if I didn’t feel that the fate of our planet rested on my thoughts.”
“The fate of our planet?” Dean asked.
“Yes.” Andy looked at them all with a serious expression on his face. “I feel that if the world doesn’t realize that humans can accomplish more, and are better than robots, then the planet will go digital, and some things will be forgotten entirely. A robot can’t write a novel, or paint a masterpiece. A robot doesn’t have a heart.
I’m going to explain to you next why I adopted you and what I want you to do. If you refuse to do it, that’s okay. We will just be a family, and that will be that. But, really, I feel that you need to do this. As well as adopting children who seemed nice, I chose you for your talents: Dean, your artistic talent; Sarah, your athleticism; Mark, your academic mind; and Caitlin, for your heart. I want to bring you forward to a committee and show them what you, as human children, can do. I feel that you can prove to them what humans can accomplish with their god-given gifts. You will show them, they need to stop putting so much energy towards technological advancements, and instead concentrate on giving opportunities to children to raise them out of poverty, and give them the chance to reach their full potential. If you agree to help me, we would leave the day after tomorrow to go to the council so I can put forth my ‘idea’ as they call it. I am sorry to push you so hard to make the decision, but I need to know soon, so I can cancel the appointment if necessary. What do you think?”
The four children looked at Andy with shock and confusion on their faces.
“Wait, but how did you know we have these ‘special talents’ you talk about?” Sarah asked, puzzlement in her voice.
“Your records. I can explain later if you want me too.” Andy responded.
Caitlin was pushing the food on her plate around with her fork. Frowning, she set the fork down and looked up at Andy, “My heart?”
“Yes, your compassion and loving. Don’t look at me like that. It is as important as the gifts that Sarah, Dean, and Mark have. Maybe more important. The world would be a cold hard place without people like you. All of you are loving, but you, Caitlin, helped children at that institute for 10 years, and some would have died without the help. So what do you say? If the four of you need till tomorrow morning to decide, that’s okay.”
“I’m up for it.” Dean was the first to speak after a couple moments of silence. “I have always felt that the world is too digital. The lack of paper around shows that. People say my drawings are pretty good. If they help convince others of what we can do as humans, I’ll help.”
“I still don’t get exactly what you mean by ‘my heart’’, Caitlin spoke next, “but I will go with you to this committee.”
Mark and Sarah spoke almost at the same time with an “I will too!” each. Sarah added on with a smile, “I’ve never met a robot yet that can beat me in a race.”
“Thank you so much,” Andy said, tears forming in his eyes, “Thank you.”