At one point or another, we could all use a second chance.
I used to never believe in them. In my eyes, if someone messed up once, they would obviously just squander any second chance.
Then I started to realize how much I relied on second chances.
I would be more comfortable bombing quizzes in high school if I knew I had the opportunity to re-take it for a better score later on. Lately, I’ve come to think that we should give everyone a second chance in life. We are not bad people and it’s unfair to classify us as so after making one mistake. We’re human; we are expected to make some mistakes along with our triumphs.
Sometimes second chances are the only opportunity we have to realize that we even made mistakes in the first place. They are necessary for us to better ourselves and improve relationships with family and friends.
My favorite example of second chances is the one given to Ted Williams, a homeless man from Columbus, Ohio.
Williams was found by Columbus Dispatch reporter Doral Chenoweth after he spotted Williams near an interstate off-ramp. Chenoweth proceeded to film Williams showcasing his “golden voice” for a dollar. Once this video hit the internet, the job offers started pouring in for Williams.
It was uplifting to see Williams, who had nothing, receive the opportunity to turn his life around. Although he recently landed in a rehabilitation center battling an addiction to alcohol, Chenoweth’s discovery placed Williams on the road to recovery.
This is not about all of us needing a second chance. We need to be willing to be the Chenoweth to those around us, to help those who need a leg up and give them the opportunity to try again.
None of us can claim we are perfect. I’m sure I’ve sucked up more second chances in 19 years than many have in a lifetime, but that’s part of growing up. Growing up means realizing when you’ve made a mistake and hoping that someone is gracious enough to allow you to try again.
We are a nation based on second chances. We all have that soft spot in our hearts for the hardworking man who is shut down by a series of unfortunate events, given a second chance and subsequently soars to the top. So why don’t we make second chances commonplace in our society today?
Many of us have done something and thought, “Oh, that was really bad decision-making.” I know that I would have lost so many friends and opportunities had I not been given a second chance.
I was given a second chance in high school by my guidance counselor. After two years of bad grades and a worse attitude, virtually everyone else had given up on me. I had been filed away in that “lost cause” folder. I decided to use that second chance wisely and three years later, here I sit on Butler’s campus, writing this article. I knew I wasn’t a horrible person who would never make it to college, but everyone else felt that way. Without that second chance, I may have never ended up here.
We should embrace second chances instead of scoff at them because there are very few of us who can say that we got where we are today without a single second chance. While we are eager to accept them, we should also be eager to give them. We never know when we could be the ones down on our luck, hoping someone else sees the potential lurking beneath the surface.