As he was driving past the arena, Mr. Sen noticed his old coach Mr. Bill Cunningham working with the current players. It was the same coach who didn’t select him to play for the school’s A-team in the state championship tournaments, and he was the only one who was cut out. Mr. Sen, still in his naval uniform, parked his car, walked inside the arena, and slowly approached the coach. He then saluted him. Pleasantly surprised, Mr. Cunningham saluted back to his former student and led him to the sideline.
Smiling mischievously, Mr. Cunningham whispered “Are you still angry at me for not selecting you for the championship tournament team in your senior year? I was sure that you could handle the rejection, while motivating yourself to do greater achievements in life.” He then pointed to all the medals (pinned on Mr. Sen’s naval uniform) that were awarded to him for his valor in various conflicts in different parts of the world. Mr. Sen returned the smile while admitting “To be honest, initially I was both mad and angry at you. But, then it dawned upon me that by rejecting me, you might have had an ulterior motive of inspiring me to dream big and achieve them, even facing the temporary setback. As you used to say ‘an earned gold medal is the existential proof of a human being’s ability to overcome any obstacle thrown in front of the person’.”
In the meantime, the sun was setting, spreading a glorious orange glow. The current trainees saw that their coach embracing one of his ex-players who never made to the school’s championship team.