Sometimes the best way to make things work in life is to give second chances. People are human and we all make mistakes. Sometimes we make little miscues that are blown out of proportion. Other times, especially in friendships and marriages, people misinterpret or misunderstand things and get easily upset, leading to disputes and break-ups.
Not everyone gets a second and sometimes even a third chance at a “do-over.” It seems to me some people get chance on top of chance to make things right and to apologize. There are other people, like myself, who never get the opportunity to make things right with someone with whom we have had a disagreement.
Other people get a chance to make the disagreement right, and instead, they squander it and end up making things worse instead of better.
I believe in giving second chances though I have never received them myself. I believe that we are human and that making mistakes is an inevitable part of life. The real test to a second chance is — what did you learn from your mistake?
I have a friend who made a mistake in a relationship. He found it difficult afterward to face the person and tell them he had made a mistake. It took a third person to get involved and get the two to talk things out. Once he explained himself, he was forgiven and the two decided to try their relationship again.
The biggest thing about second chances — and even third and fourth chances, when necessary — is the fact that the granting another chance to get things right is about giving and receiving forgiveness. Even if the friendship or relationship is irretrievably broken, forgiveness is the first step in healing for everyone involved.
Another lesson in receiving another chance is the letting go of any anger that may be there. Anger is a very strong emotion that can easily ruin any type of relationship. By facing up to our mistakes and admitting we were wrong and giving forgiveness allows the other person to release their anger.
Anger, like fire, can consume a person and “burn” everything in its path. Fire is used in some professions, such as farming, for cleansing. It can also be used to cause anarchy and to destroy things, as in arson. Anger will do the same. Anger can be a very cleansing emotion as it allows us to release our frustrations while it can also destroy relationships through causing disruption and destroying the very foundations that strong relationships are built upon.
There is also an element of redemption in forgiving someone for their past mistakes and granting them another chance to make things right. The offending party has redeemed him or herself for their part in the dispute and has earned the chance to have a relationship with the forgiver again.
The final ingredient is about being the bigger person. Being the one to recognize the stupidity of the disagreement to begin with and become the one to attempt to make amends.
— Erin Smith is a staff writer with the Bladen Journal. She may be reached by telephone at 862-4163 or by e-mail at email@example.com.