The Journey Continues – Second Chances

Do you believe in second chances?  I believe the latest colloquialism is “do overs.”  Have there been times when you wished someone would have given you a second chance?  Was there ever a time when you were grateful that someone did give you that second chance?  There’s an old saying, If at first you don’t succeed, try,try again.”  When it involves someone else, that might not be an option, if they won’t give you a “do over” or second chance.

A better question might be, are you willing to give another person a second chance?  Or when someone “screws up” are you done after the first try?  You close that door and move on down the road.  That brings me back to the question, “Have there ever been times when you wished someone would have given you a second chance?”  See, if you were standing in that other person’s shoes, would you want you to give you another chance? Hmmm…

I know many of you may respond that it all depends on the relationship you have with the other person – friend, relative, coworker, lover/partner, etc. – and the circumstances of the situation.  I grant you, all that is true.  However, none of us ever lives inside another person’s head and, depending on what that relationship is with them, we have no idea what goes on in their lives when we aren’t around and they are living their lives elsewhere.  So we may not really know what made them say or do what they did.  That could be grounds for a second chance.

In our quest for the illusion of perfection that was programmed into us by those who taught us the “ways” of the world, we humans often forget the imperfections and human frailties that we all have, including us.  “How could you do that to me?” can commonly come out of our mouths when someone does something that hurts us or we disapprove of.  It can also be one of many questions we hear directed at us when we cross a line with someone else.  In my mind, there’s no doubt we humans could use a second chance, a do-over, now and then.

But how often do we allow second chances to become third, fourth, fifth chances or more?  That pendulum of chances swings widely both ways.  Giving someone a second chance, or being given a second chance by someone else, is usually done with the idea that, the second time around, things will be said and done differently.  What if we/they can’t change our behavior or, for some reason, can’t change it?

“Fool me one, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.”  Some might say this is a good rule of thumb for second chances.  If you’re willing to give that second chance, or accept that second chance from someone else, and nothing changes, should that be the end of it?  From my perspective, especially if the unchanged behavior creates mentally, emotionally, or physically destructive actions, I would say “no” to more chances.

To me, second chances should be granted to those who are willing to do things differently that next time.  Whether you’re talking about your job – where you need to be there on time and doing the job to the best of your abilities this time – or a relationship with friend, family member, or lover/partner – where there needs to be trust, respect, kindness, and understanding this time – second chances mean doing things differently and doing them better.  If that doesn’t happen in that second chance, them where it is we who are asking for still another chance or we are being ask to grant one, the answer should be a firm “no.”

In my own life, I’ve been fortunate to have been given second chances often.  I’ve always tried to use them to the best advantage for progress in my journey in this life, whatever area the second chance was granted.  The flipside of this is I have also been a compulsive chance-giver.  Sometimes that has been to my own detriment, especially where relationships – both intimate and friend – are concerned.  I just wouldn’t give up on people, even those with bad behavior.  I’ve learned there is a time to say “no” for my own safety and well-being.

Because I am so very human, I still try to at least find a good reason to give another person a second chance.  There are, however, seldom chances beyond that.  Am I playing “god” or thinking I’m better than another person? No. I’ve just dome to realize that if things haven’t changed after a second chance, they probably aren’t going to and it would be better, for all concerned, to move on.  sometimes no matter how much you love and care about a person, you have to recognize that they, too, must love and care about themselves and others enough to know when something isn’t working.  If they can’t or won’t bring things to a conclusion, then you must.  That holds true for any situation.

We might all lead much happier lives if we are willing to give others that do-over, that second chance, because I think we all know there are times when we wish for one ourselves.  Hindsight is 20/20 and we often recognize that, if we only had a chance to go back, we would do things so very differently.  Why would we not be willing to give someone else that opportunity?  It might create a crucial difference in their lives.  You never know.

Second Chance 2

Love & Blessed Be

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