Thursday, November 8, 2012
Far too often I find that those who give second chances in life, do so intermittently-- unfairly, and almost always purely subjectively. But I have to stop and wonder: What actions constitute allowance for a second chance? What type of person warrants a second chance? Does the first offense have to be insignificant enough to not affect many people? Or does the offense simply have to be a certain distance from the chance-giver that they themselves are not affected? I know that I am far from perfect-- that I have been far from perfect at least a time or two. And sometimes I was rewarded a second, even a third chance. But more often than not, I was cast aside and judged-- denied a second chance to rebuild trust, to build trust from the start. But then I have to pause and consider what other types of people are given second chances: convicted felons, cheating spouses, those who use and abuse women like trash receptacles. The list is endless. Felons have epiphanies in prison and convince the world they're changed men and women. So they are offered a job and full trust from their employers. Cheating spouses woo their way back into the heart of the low self-esteemed partner who cannot seem to see the truth. Women who are victimized no longer see themselves as human beings, and therefore give second chances as if begging for a chance at living their own life. Yet, when it comes to most situations in a person's life, there is a very short list of truly 'forgivable' acts: white lies, accidental foolishness, drunken comedic streaking, and the occasional too-close-to-home-friendly-personal-jab. Everything else is ground for immediate expulsion. You forget to call on their birthday? Ditched and dismissed. They heard you may have broken someone else's heart but aren't really sure? Judged as a heartless wench, never to be good enough for your friend to date. Completely and utterly subjective. But where do we draw the line? I'm no saint when it comes to letting go of grudges, but I like to think that I am fairly lenient when it comes to second, third, and in some unquestionably vapid situations, fourth chances with people. Humans are prone to error. We are complex, thinking beings and we mess up. A lot. But that doesn't mean we are incapable of changing our habits; changing our heart; changing our minds. One mistake does not have to turn into two. And even if it does, a pattern of mistakes does not have to follow. This world has become so filled with instant gratification and an ability to find an answer on a search engine in a matter of seconds that we ourselves have re-programmed our minds to make snap judgments about other people within seconds. No longer do people take the time to get to know one another before judging character. No longer do people understand that mistakes are common and that people can change. No longer do strangers give the benefit of the doubt to other strangers. Me personally? I'd rather be called a fool for having faith, than a cynic who dampers every ounce of positivity left in this world.