There once was a bunch of kids who wanted to play soccer on a Saturday. There was a piece of rough ground close to where they lived, and their parents leant them tools and the kids went down to the field and spent the whole weekend filling in holes, and removing big rocks and other rubbish from the field and planting grass there. Soon the field was completely flat, and when their parents saw how much work the kids had put in, they bought the kids a goalpost and a soccer ball and were happy to let them play safely by themselves.
Every Saturday the kids took their ball and went to play on their field. The Soccer Kids made up teams from among themselves and made rules and played their game.
After a few weeks some kids from the Other Side of Town arrived on the field and said
“We want to play too.”
After some discussion, John, one of the Soccer Kids said that they would be able to have a better game if they let these few other kids play too. So they built a second goal, and were able to have two bigger teams and everyone was happy. The Other Kids weren’t as good at soccer, but they tried hard to keep up and soon everyone was having fun.
The following Saturday, the Soccer Kids were surprised to see even more kids from the Other Side of Town. Simon, the tallest of the Other Kids said to John,
“We brought some friends”.
John asked Simon why they didn’t have their own field to play on, and Simon explained that there was some spare ground but their parents didn’t want to help them build a soccer field and they didn’t have their own ball. And he said that his parents weren’t as well off as John’s and that wasn’t fair. John agreed to let them play, even though there was as many of the Other Kids as there were of his own friends. The Other Kids were very clumsy and they didn’t understand the rules, but John thought it was fair to be patient with them and kept trying to explain the rules.
Some of the Other Kids got angry when they broke the rules and said the rules weren’t fair.
The next Saturday there were even more of the Other Kids. The kids who built the field were upset because the Other Kids weren’t so good and didn’t like the rules. The Soccer Kids decided they should have their own team, and play against the Other Kids. That way the Other Kids could play whatever way they wanted and might even learn the game faster.
The Other Kids agreed and thought it was a good idea.
But the Soccer Kids were much better at soccer and they always scored far more goals, and that made the Other Kids very angry. They didn’t understand tactics, and every one of them chased the ball wherever it went, and they didn’t stay in their positions. John tried to explain to them how the game works but that just made them angrier.
The next Saturday there were twice as many of the Other Kids. John told his friend that it was ok because they each had their own teams, so the Other Kids just had to pick a team from among themselves and the rest had to watch. But Simon said that because his friends weren’t as good as John and his friends, they should have a bigger team. John said that was against the rules, and Simon said the rules were not fair, because one team always won.
John was frustrated but said that if the Other Kids tried hard they would soon get better and maybe be as good as the kids who built the field. Simon talked to his friends about this but he said they were too impatient and wanted to have more players on their team instead. John said that in that case they would never learn but Simon said that there were more of them so their rules were more important.
John said that they had built the field, and bought the goals and the ball so their rules were more important. But he agreed to let Simon’s team have three more players. Simon agreed.
But John’s team still won, and more and more of the Other Kids came onto the field to play. They said they should pick both teams, and then they hardly ever picked any of the kids who built the field, because they were jealous of them.
Soon, it was no fun for anyone and John’s friends had had enough. They walked up to him and told him he could stay if he wanted to, but they were going home to play Playstation because soccer wasn’t fun anymore, because the Other Kids didn’t like the rules and kept changing their minds about what was fair, and hardly ever let them play even though they built the field and work so hard on it. So they left.
And that is how the Other Kids got their own soccer field. However, soon the field fell into ruin because of the large numbers of kids playing on it. Nobody filled in the holes or replanted the grass. The goal posts were broken and nobody fixed them. After a few weeks, nobody could play on the field at all.