A Lesson for Life

"Fenil is a fatty, Fenil fatty, fatty!"

All the classmates of Fenil were very cruel to him. They used to mimic, tease and taunt him about his weight but Fenil never responded to anyone.
One Friday, Fenil was playing football during sports class. The game was intense, with just a few minutes left and a tie in the score. When Fenil was near the net, a team member rolled the ball over to him. Fenil tried his best to score the goal but somehow missed. The game ended, and Fenil's team lost.

Arjun frowned at Fenil, saying, "How could you be so irresponsible, Fenil?" Fenil's eyes were full of tears. A week ago, his teacher had told him that he was irresponsible for being late to class. Just a few days ago, his mother had used the word 'irresponsible' when she scolded him for not hanging out his clothes. That awful word 'irresponsible' kept repeating through Fenil's mind.

Fenil sat near Arjun for art class. Someone pushed Fenil, and he fell on Arjun, who hit his foot quite badly against the desk. The boy who pushed Fenil onto Arjun blamed Fenil for everything. When the whole class was watching, Arjun was stimulated either to pick a fight with Fenil or to ignore it.

Arjun shouted, "Let’s go, Fenil, let's fight!" Fenil responded, "I didn't fall down myself," but his other classmates pushed him into the fight. Arjun punched Fenil's face, and he fell down on the ground. The whole class laughed at Fenil. Just then, the teacher walked into the classroom and saw Arjun and Fenil fighting. "I want both of you to go out on the ground and run one mile holding each other's hands," said the teacher, announcing the punishment. Both Fenil and Arjun were embarrassed, but they had no choice. They went on the ground to run one mile as the teacher said.

At some point during their run, Fenil said, "I'm sorry, Arjun, for losing the game today because of my mistake." The bruise from the punch was still fresh on Fenil's face, and his heavy weight was making him slow in running. At that point, Arjun realized his mistake. He was the one who blamed Fenil for losing the game and started the fight. He was the one who hurt Fenil. Yet Fenil never hurt him back, either by words or action. Arjun looked at Fenil, and it struck him that Fenil was a kind of human being who had inner values and worth far beyond any external looks.

Arjun said with tears in his eyes, "Don't be sorry, Fenil, it was my mistake, and I apologize. It was a team play, and no single person is responsible for winning or losing. Besides, we were playing for fun, neither to win nor to lose. I am very sorry for blaming and hurting you."

Arjun and Fenil became good friends from then onwards. Dadashri says that the power of speech arises when one doesn't use even a single word to make fun of others.

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