Individuals unite to form a society, and then each person becomes a key component of it. It is a give-and-take relationship; the mindset of a society depends on the mindset of the people residing in it. The world is a tower of cards. If one trembles, all of them fall. I once believed that society is always supportive. Then, something made me question that.
I had a best friend named Kabir. We had a lot of fun together. We were so close that some used to think we were brothers. In fact, we were closer than many brothers.
Kabir was extraordinary at soccer. I used to hate the game, but watching him practice developed my interest as well. One fine day after school, Kabir told me that the school was going to select a team for the upcoming inter-school soccer tournament. I thought that, for him, clearing these trials would be as easy as solving 1+2, and he proved me right. He did extraordinarily well and was nominated as the captain, which filled my chest with pride.
However, with triumph and honor come envy and enmity. Kabir had a few competitors, and Troy was one of them. He was a good player and always wanted to be the captain of the school team. Troy was jealous of Kabir. I knew something was wrong with his behavior.
January 11, 2016 was a day of horror and guilt. The whole team had practiced very hard for the inter-school tournament. Every day the team would practice for five rigorous hours with an aim to win the trophy. As the captain, Kabir was most ambitious to win it.
At around 11:00 in the morning, the draws were made. Our team was matched against the Indo German public school, which I thought was very weak. I took a good seat in the stands and waited for the match to begin. The captains were invited to shake hands and then, at the whistle of the referee, the match started. Our team had control from the very first minute, and I was sure of our victory in the first knockout game this season. Kabir was dominating the field, and in the third minute of the game he scored the first goal. I could see Troy making some strange moves.
It was almost halftime, and we were leading by 3-0, when something unusual happened. Troy deliberately tripped, pretending he had been hit by Kabir. He fell down and ostentatiously held his knee. The game was stopped. The referee checked with Kabir and Troy and announced Kabir guilty of hurting his own teammate.
Troy was so good at acting that all the spectators took his side and demanded a red card for Kabir. “Noo!” I shouted. I knew Kabir had not even touched Troy. But a majority of liars often overshadows the truth. The spectators felt he was guilty and stood by Troy. Kabir was given a red card. I tried to protest but in vain. I was so sad. I thought, “Why does this society vote without knowing what the truth is? Is this what we call justice?”
I ran towards Kabir with utmost speed. I wanted to know the truth! While the mob was busy praying for Troy, I had a quick conversation with Kabir. With eyes full of tears he said, “It wasn’t me! I did not even touch Troy! He . . . he did that just to get me in trouble.”
“I know, I know you would never do this to our team. Don’t worry, god always stands with the truth,” I said.
“I don’t think so, all the people are against me!”
I couldn’t reply to him as something very sad was happening, and I did not have an answer to his words. Kabir was held guilty of hurting his own teammate, and the match was stopped immediately, favoring our opponents. We had been knocked out in the first round. But more importantly, I had lost my faith in society.
I kept claiming that Kabir was innocent. I knew he was! It was as if I stood at an intersection in a desert in order to show society a way to an oasis, but people chose the way to quicksand. I was helpless.
The crowd gathered around Troy and Kabir. Troy was laid on a stretcher and taken to the physio room for a check-up.
The physiotherapist proved to be a messiah. He checked Troy’s knee, and it was alright. Only a few of us were given access to the exam room. As soon as the physio gave his diagnosis, my blood started pumping with happiness.
The teacher decided to investigate. He was sharp and asked Troy questions that confused him and hence compelled him to speak the truth. Troy revealed that he had faked the injury because of envy and his desire to be the captain of the team. After a proper investigation, the teacher conveyed this to all the spectators. The audience was furious to know that Troy had faked the injury. All of them started demanding justice for Kabir. The match referee was notified and he, too, felt sad for Kabir. Sadly, the match was over. But corrective action was taken.
This incident helped me understand a few things, the first being that society is quite complex. I had lost faith in my community when all of them supported Troy. It is the tendency of this society to oppose the mighty and powerful and support the weak immediately. Kabir was innocent but was still hurt and suffered injustice.
However, my faith was restored when everyone supported Kabir after knowing the truth. I think justice still prevails in the court of God. Though late, the wrongdoer was punished for his deeds. I was so happy when society stood with me. My efforts to protect the people from choosing a way to quicksand led to results! Those who agreed with me reached the oasis, and those who were taught by the circumstances came back to correct themselves! People stood with Kabir to wait for the verdict of the sports teacher until he expelled Troy from the team. Later, we met many people who were sorry for supporting Troy. To my surprise, even Troy showed up. He expressed his extreme guilt and apologized for his actions. I waited for Kabir to react. I thought he might punch Troy in the face, but instead, he gave Troy a hug and resolved the matter wisely. I was so proud to be his best friend!
Another important lesson I learned was that individuals have tremendous potential to bring about change, as our sports teacher did. One percent of people with a good mindset and pure intentions have the power to create change. These enlightened individuals can help society to travel from darkness to light. Saints and leaders are the best examples of such people. By following in their footsteps and walking on a path of truth, we can improve our lives.
Kabir was honest and therefore was given justice. As I’ve mentioned, the more you give to society, the better society treats you. Although Kabir suffered at first, he won the battle against injustice with the explicit support of society.
I hope that my society remains just and supportive toward individuals who are innocent. I also dream of a society where jealousy, envy, and all such feelings that part individuals from each other are eliminated.
Thank God for gifting me a society which cares for values and not power, which supports justice and not the mighty. I hope Kabir succeeds in his career and we all maintain peace and harmony in this world.
Aditya Dinesh Naik is 16 years old and studies in the 11th grade. He loves reading books and playing badminton. He also enjoys playing an Indian percussion instrument called Tabla. Cycling with friends is one of his favorite activities.
KidSpirit’s teen editors and contributors around the world believe in a better future. Help empower the next generation to raise their voices and move forward in a spirit of openness and inclusion - make a tax-deductible contribution to KidSpirit today.
KidSpirit, Inc is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization