Second time around

I’ve been thinking about second chances lately. It’s been something I’ve been mulling since the summer, and while I’ve known I wanted to write about the subject, I wasn’t quite sure what to say.

With the new year, the timing seemed right to try to put my thoughts into words.

Giving someone a second chance can be extending an olive branch after you’ve been hurt or wronged. On the flip side, if you believe the adage, “Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me,” second chances may seem foolish.

How do you know when a second chance will make a difference? How can you measure the risk — to yourself, your family, your job, your whatever — when you give one? 

How many times have you wished you’d get one?

Why, you ask, have I been fixated on this? (Ok, maybe you didn’t, but this is my blog so keep on walkin’ if it’s a problem).

Some of it is obvious… new year, new resolutions to make and try to keep. But it was really a sad story with my brother’s dog that started this train of thought for me.

This cute dog, a shelter dog with an unknown past and a leg that had to be amputated, truly had been given a second chance on life when my brother’s family adopted him. My brother is a sweet, amazing person and he can see the good in nearly everyone and everything.

But, something inside this poor animal was just broken and un-save-able.  A couple minor incidents and one big one later, it was clear a second chance in a love-filled home was not going to save the dog.

I started thinking about what would have happened if this dog were a person. This dog fiercely loved and protected my two-year old niece. There was goodness in him. Probably more good than bad.  But something about the latter wouldn’t let the dog be free. Would a person like this dog have been given a second chance at all after being cast aside?  Would he get a third after a violent, unprovoked incident? 

I’ve probably had a 50-50 track record on giving people second chances. Not sure I could point to rhyme or reason when I give them either.  But, if something inside me were broken, and I needed one, I sure hope I’d get one. Maybe I’ll have to work on consistency here in 2009.

What about you? Do you allow do-overs? Have you gotten one that’s changed your life?

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January 6, 2009. Uncategorized.

2 Comments

  1. KayO replied:

    I keep waiting for someone to post comments on this, but I guess it’s up to me. I lived with my husband for 12 years, unmarried, and then left him – blaming all our problems on him, of course, because I’m a saint. Alcoholism and all the emotional distance caused by it were my main points. Then I went to Al-Anon … After some therapy and a lot of talking, I gave him another chance, which really turned out to be a second chance for me. I learned that problems in a relationship fall on both parties, and redefined MY role. We got married, and stayed together for 14 more years until his death. I think it’s important to realize that the “second chance” reflects back on oneself.

  2. lifeinbetween replied:

    Wow, that is one IMPORTANT second chance. Something to think about. Thank you for sharing it!

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