By Michael Miller, Manal Ghosain
A second chance at love, mending estranged relationships, apologies that were never given….It is always inspiring to see someone pick themselves up and keep trying, in spite of repeated mistakes and disappointments.
“We’re all on the same journey. People are taking different paths to get there. And I think no matter how many times you fail or you fall down in your life, you certainly have the opportunity until you take your last breath to be redeemed.” Oprah Winfrey
We have all heard that everyone deserves second chances. Before a second chance can usher itself into anyone’s life, the past has got to go. However, it is simply not in our human nature to give second chances. For some, we have been the victim of a wrong doing. For others, we know someone or are close to someone who has been jaded. For many, unless we have ever needed a second chance, we completely shut down the idea. For some, we place ourselves so far above others that we would never consider giving a second chance to anyone. If we are honest with ourselves, there has been a time in all of our lives where we have needed a second chance. For some, it may have been a small request and for others a much larger request.
Mistakes are synonymous with being human. We all have a dark side, a destructive side. How much we allow it to take over depends on our level of awareness and what stage of growth we’re at. And that has nothing to do with age or experience. Our path is as unique as our fingerprints and our entire existence.
When asking for second chances, it is more difficult for the requestor than for the person being asked. It takes a boat load of humility and requires eating the largest piece of humble pie imaginable. We all need second chances. Quite frankly, most of us need third, fourth, fifth, etc. chances. It’s up to us to ask for those chances though. Then we can only hope and pray that the hearts of others are softened by that request.
We have all made mistakes in our lives – some that we choose to never disclose if at all possible. Some of those mistakes are brought into the light from others. I know I have made mistakes in my life and my actions have brought pain and humiliation to those who I care about most. If someone ever invents a time machine, I will be one of the first in line so that I can go back and right all of my wrongs. Since the time machine is probably not a reality, I must live my life looking forward and trying to be a better person.
There are people in our prison systems who have committed heinous crimes. There are people living in our communities who have committed crimes and have not been caught. There are those who have been wrongfully accused while the real criminal lives a life of freedom. It is not our place to pick and choose who gets a second chance. We just have to be willing. That’s all we can really do.
I am so regretful for some of the bad choices I made in my life. For those choices that pained others, I can only ask for forgiveness and hope that they would give me a second chance.
None of us is perfect, but all can I ask for my heart to be softer and help me to freely give second chances. I pray for a heart of forgiveness, because I know one day, I will have to ask others to forgive me. We owe it to ourselves and to each other, to understand more than judge, to support more than tear down, to encourage more than ridicule, to love more than fear.
As you go about your day, think about ways that you can live a life of second chances. Stop focusing on the outer shell because you’ll miss the hidden pearl. Instead of waiting for that person who had wronged you to ask for forgiveness, go to them and offer a second chance. Life is short. Living a life of no second chances makes life even shorter. We are all so blessed to have been given a multitude of second chances. It’s our turn. It’s our choice.
Will we continue to tear down the lives of those who have made bad choices or will we offer them a hand and help rebuild their lives? It’s our choice to make. It’s my choice to make. I choose to live a life of second chances.