The Soccer Game

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Life lessons can sometimes be learned in the strangest of places...even at a soccer match. Going to watch my father play soccer every week was a large part of my childhood. The league he played in was far from high-profile, but there was something special about watching 30- to 40-year-old men of all different nationalities playing soccer just for love of the sport. This particular night, my father's team's opposition was comprised mainly of Bosnian players. There was only one set of bleachers for the spectators, so I sat among the families of my father's team as well as the supporters for the opposing team. Not long after I took my seat, I turned around and saw a Bosnian child glaring at me from a few rows away. He looked about the same age as me: twelve years old. His angry stares soon turned to taunts; he gave me the middle finger numerous times and threatened to beat me up. I was a little scared by the threats because I didn't understand what I had done to provoke his wrath, but I decided to do my best to ignore the truculent boy and the abuse soon abated. A few minutes later, much to my amazement, the boy approached me with a soccer ball and asked if I wanted to go play in the open field next to us. Happy to...

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