Balling at night

The last time I wrote a reflection was when I was taking poetry in high school. Although embarassing, I wrote it in the form of a poem. It was a unique experience because as I stopped to think about what to write about myself, I also learned about how I viewed myself. Thinking back even further to all the past reflections I’ve ever written, they were all different. I guess that makes sense because what’s the point of reflections if we were the same person forever. The truth is that we’re not the same person from the day we’re born to the day we die. Each day that passes by can surprisingly change us or put us through a realization of who we really are and the qualities we possess. Through reflection we expose ourselves not only to the world but we also face reality in who we really are. I believe it is a learning process that is important every so often to see if we have become to people we wished to be in previous years or if we have drifted from the goals of our past. With that being said, I’d like to share an event that reveals a single yet important merit.

It was a cool August evening and as summer vacation drew to an end, I figured I’d call out Kevin and Andy to hangout at the park one last time. Now basketball wasn’t our sport to play, but it was a team sport and win or lose, as long as we had fun together, we didn’t care. We decided to play against another group of three. Their group consisted of three white males who were spoke english but opted to speak in a foreign language. They were definitely older than us by a few years.

As I had said before, basketball wasn’t our sport so we decided on a short 11-point game. Everything was going fine with both teams giving it their all. To my surprise, my friends and I were doing really well in the beginning and played a fair game. Everything went well  until the score was 7-2. Just four points away from winning, we started to lost our drive, but that wasn’t the only problem here. Throughout the whole game, the opposing team had one bad egg that was extremely frustrated that they were losing.

It wasn’t until 7-2 that that one person decided to conduct unsportsmanlike conduct and began to “cheat” his way for more points. Now I say cheat with quotations because there is no referee in street ball. In street ball, you’d normally take a slight beating to the body with a few bumps here and there and no one calls fouls unless its something like being smacked in the face or elbowed in the stomach. But this one person calls fouls on my friends for accidentally slapping his wrist ever so slightly out of the frustration that he was losing to kids. Looking back on it, I find it funny how he thought that age commands authority and skill.

I was pissed at the fouls he called and we argued like two dogs barking at each other. At one point I lost it and wanted to deck this guy in the face. But I didn’t. I shut up, stopped, and walked away. I threw the game. I felt horrible like my pride just got shitted on because I didn’t do anything.

That night I thought back to why I stopped my clenched fist from throwing a punch. I came to the conclusion that it was to protect my friends. I realized that like the guy on the opposing team, I was extremely vocal too. Except I argued for my friends and he argued for himself and his desire to win. He placed the game above his friends and yelled at them whereas I cared for the well-being of my friends. I don’t think I can stand to see my friends injured because of what I brought them into.

It’s funny because when I talked about it with Andy, he told me that in the midst of the conflict he asked himself “am I going home tonight?” because he knows how stubborn I can get and how my pride is usually at the top of my agenda from past experiences. I remember walking away thinking why I didn’t fight and why I let them step all over me. That night taught me how much I actually cared for my friends. While I may have lost the game, the pride in my friendship shines brighter than any pride won with violence.

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