What Are Ya Gonna Do Today, Napoleon?

Maryanne Pope
3 min readOct 22, 2022

“Do with your Self whatever it is you want to do. You can trust your Self.”

– Glennon Doyle, “Untamed”

Have you ever seen the movie, “Napoleon Dynamite?”

I finally saw it for the first time a few weeks ago…and am still laughing when I think back to some of the kookiest scenes (and there are many).

My all-time favourite scene is near the beginning. The main character, Napoleon Dynamite, is the geekiest teenage boy imaginable — from the top of his frizzy-haired head to the tip of his Moon Boots (worn even in warm weather). Looking bored and full of disdain, he is waiting for the school bus to pick him up. When it does, it is filled with kids far younger than him.

He walks to his usual spot at the back of the bus and sits down. The little kid across the aisle asks him, “What are you gonna do today, Napoleon?”

In true teenager fashion, Napoleon snaps in disgust, “Whatever I FEEL like I wanna do…Gaaawsh!”

To prove his point, he then proceeds to throwing a plastic toy, attached to his backpack by a string, out the bus window. Then both he and the kid who asked him the question watch the toy bounce along behind the bus.

Whenever I need a laugh, I watch this short clip on You Tube. It cracks me up.

But there is another reason I love this clip.

Napoleon’s pissy ‘tude is a powerful reminder of the fact that regardless of where we are in our lives, we do still have some choice as to what we are going to DO in any given moment.

Granted, most of won’t choose to exercise this freedom by tossing a plastic toy out the window and watching it bounce along behind a bus 😊

But it doesn’t matter what we choose to do (as long as it doesn’t harm ourselves or others); what matters is that we remember we HAVE a choice.

Which brings me (again) to Glennon Doyle’s brilliant book, “Untamed.”

Here is a passage that explains the difference between surface desires and deep desires:

“I wrote to my community recently: Do with your Self whatever it is you want to do. You can

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Maryanne Pope

Maryanne writes blogs, books, screenplays & play scripts. She is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions & Co-Founder of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund.