December 15, 2009
By Daniel Szwiec BRONZE, Palatine, Illinois
Daniel Szwiec BRONZE, Palatine, Illinois
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Punch after punch, tackle after tackle. Blood everyone, on my clothes, his clothes, the ground, and our skin. The rain was pelting down on us but we paid no attention. It was hard to keep balance but I tried the best I could so I would not be tackled or caught off guard. My sweatshirt was ripped and his shirt completely off. I had never experienced anything like this but did not take time to adjust to it. I tried to stay smart and on edge but by the time the third or fourth minute came and went I was ready to faint. The physical toll my body took was too much to handle but I did not give up. After about ten minutes my opponent was down and it was over.

Doing right is an extremely hard thing to do in certain situations. A kid I had not liked for years randomly messaged me on Facebook. He was calling me appalling names and saying awfully offensive and inappropriate things. He then said we should fight, but said I would most likely not because I was a “sissy.” Against my better judgment I accepted. The second I said I would fight there was no going back. My face got hot and I tried to realize the trouble I got myself into. It was not that the kid was big, muscular, and dangerous, it was the fact that so many things could go wrong. First of all my parents would kill me if anything bad happened to me, second of all I could do damage to him and I could get sued, and third of all, just fighting itself is against my morals. These factors did not completely register in my head at the time and I stuck with my decision to fight. The next few days passed and I tried not to get too nervous or think about the fight much. The day of the fight I told my parents I was just going to a friend’s house to hang out for a little and I’d be home around eleven. I felt terrible lying straight to their faces but I did not let it stop me. After hanging out at my friend’s for about and hour him and I picked up two of my other friends. We drove to Birchwood in the back fields where it was supposed to happen, the second I got there I realized how big of a mistake I made. There were about twenty to thirty people there just to watch this fool and me beat each other up. I knew I did not belong there but trudged along to the field. Spectators surrounded us and we started to fight, he threw the first punch and I quickly followed. It was not a long fight but it seemed like hours, he was on all fours and started throwing up. He said he was done and I immediately left.

I was not even in a condition to drive so my friend drove us back to his house. It took about twenty minutes of throwing up and staring blankly to come back to normal. I called my parents and asked to sleepover at my friend’s since I was in no condition to talk to them, they said yes. However, my friend’s mom was not so keen on the idea and made me go home. I got home and stood outside my front door, mixed emotions flooded my head, mainly consisting of fear and guilt. I screwed up big time. There was dried blood on my face and my knuckles were bruised and bleeding. It wasn’t them getting angry with me, grounding me, or even yelling at me that was the worst. It was the disappointment in their faces and when they told me they expected better from me, it was then that I knew what I did was the complete opposite of right.

In the months that have elapsed since the fight, I have tried to convince myself that what I did was not completely wrong. I thought to myself that I would not have fought anyone else, only that kid because we had been on bad terms since the fifth grade. But even then I knew that chances were I probably would have fought someone else. I also tried to convince myself that this could be looked at as a positive experience, it happened early and I learned my lesson. But it was not. I did learn a lesson but not one that I expected. I learned that what you do at the time can seem right but in reality it is not at all. I thought that fighting this kid and putting what I thought was an end to our troubles was the right thing to do at the time, but as I look back it was not. This was a big situation in my life, and one where doing right would have saved me a lot of trouble. Atul Gawande was correct in saying that doing the right thing depends on what kind of person you are and what you believe in. my friends told me that it was right and still do o this day, but in the end it only matters what you think is right. I lied, fought, and did something that was not me at all. Doing the right thing is all about being true to yourself, seeing the different outcomes, and trying to take something from your experience. I took many things from my fight, good and bad. I learned my lessons and never plan on fighting again.

The author's comments:
Got inspiration from "Better" by Atul Gawande

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