This is an interesting conversation among a few boys, aged around ten years, on one evening just in front of an apartment building, where they were playing around with a tennis ball. While throwing around the ball here and there and catching them, the ball rolled over somewhere and went missing. Each boy made his own sincere effort to get the ball, but all their efforts went in vain.

Suddenly, one of the boys could spot another boy, son of the watchman of the building, holding a ball in his hand. He thought that it was the same missing ball and informed the other boys. They all went to him and started questioning him. The boy said that it was his ball and his father purchased it from such and such shop and gave to him just two days back for playing. However, under repeated pressure from the other boys, out of fear of assault, he said that he had picked up the ball from this place only and he did not own it. The boys snatched the ball from him and ran over to a safer place. All of them were happy and handed over the ball to the boy whose ball went missing.

The boy, who was now holding the ball, and whose ball got missed while playing, started examining the ball. Though the ball looked similar, he told his friends that his missing ball had a small black dot on it which was not appearing on this one. He said he will not take the ball which did not belong to him. They convinced him that when the other boy had admitted that he had picked up the ball from this place only, why one should bother about the black dot. They told him to just forget about it and take it home. After all, they said, the other boy is the son of the watchman and his father is not going to make a big issue, as no one will believe him.

Now a very poignant situation arose. The boys pleaded that all their success to locate the ball would appear to look funny. They solved the problem for him and the boy whose ball went missing, was neglecting their offer of good friendship. The arguments for and against went on and on and everyone was unanimous in their opinion to close the matter there and insist that this was indeed the missing ball found in the hands of the son of the watchman.

The boy, holding the ball, calmly told them to accompany him. He moved towards the son of the watchman and informed him about the misunderstanding. He handed over the ball to him and returned. His friends were astonished about his action and they told him that he did not value their friendship and had shown scant regard for their sincerity towards him. The boy told them that, while he appreciated their concern, he did not want the other boy to shed tears and cause suffering just for the sake of his own selfishness. This is a true story.

GREG RAKOZY xxxx xxxxx
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