“Basketball Problem,” Friend, June 2001, 36
I was on a basketball team when I was in third grade. After playing the first and second quarters, we’d practice shooting the basketball during halftime. One boy never brought a ball but always tried to get mine away from me and play keep away. It happened every halftime, and it wasn’t much fun.
My mom and I decided that we needed to do something about it—but what? We could talk to his parents, we could confront him about it, but neither seemed the right thing to do. After thinking about it, we decided to bring another ball for him to play with.
At the beginning of halftime of the next game, before he could start his tricks, I handed him my basketball and said, “Why don’t you use this?” He stopped for a minute, then started shooting baskets. I went to the bench and got the other ball from my mom and started shooting baskets, too. He saw me and said, “Oh, you brought another ball.” But he didn’t try to take it from me. I kept bringing two balls and sharing one with him. After about three games, he started bringing his own ball.
Was what I did hard to do? No. I learned that sharing is better than bringing one thing and not sharing and that sometimes we have to go even farther, if the other person isn’t willing to share with us.
I still bring two basketballs to my games. After all, you never know who needs a little extra friendship.