I’m willing to bet that just by reading the title of this post you assume that it will be about having little trust in others, remaining defensive with your guard constantly up and not giving anyone the benefit of the doubt. In fact it is the complete opposite. I don’t believe in second chances, not because of how damaged of a person I am or because I have been burned a countless number of times by others. I don’t believe in them because in order to give some a “2nd” chance means you would have had to give up on them the first time.
BUT WAIT! “What do you mean YOU gave up on them? They failed you not the other way around.”
I get it! That way of thinking makes sense and I’m sure that is the way most people will think of it, but not me. People are designed to fail. There is not a single person on this planet that has not failed at something and it should be expected. People lie, cheat, steal and take advantage of situations. That too should be expected.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone chronic liars and cheaters but I recognize it happens. It’s part of humanity and unfortunately as long as there are humans there will be deceit and deception. With that in mind I want to reiterate that I do not believe in second chances. People deserve more than that.
Like most people I have been let down and I have let down my fair share of others. Purposefully and accidentally. I have gone out of my way and sacrificed things in my own life to help others only to be screwed over in the end. I have spent months and years of my life holding grudges and resentments for those who have wronged me. I have withheld forgiveness to those who have wronged me no matter how many apologies I have received. The hard truth about that is the only person its hurting is me. It’s been said that forgiveness in not for the person who has done wrong but for the person who was wronged. As cliché’ as that is, it is a lesson I have learned. Allowing someone to hold such much emotional real estate over you is dangerous. Things fester and infect your soul if you allow them.
It takes something out of you every time you put yourself out there for another only to be met with a giant middle finger in your face at the end. It takes even more out of you when you feel the sting of letting someone down that was counting on you or failing someone who has helped you. It’s like that for me anyway. Giving others the benefit of the doubt takes practice and doesn’t come easy, especially if there is a history with a particular person. It’s one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I think of it this way. Do I really want to miss out on a relationship with someone because of one, or even a few, incident(s) that didn’t go as expected? Is your pride worth more than a person?
Be the person you want others to be for you. Think to yourself, “Would I want someone to give up on me as quickly as I have given up on others?” Don’t write people off because you can’t get past your own pride. Don’t throw people away because they happen to be an inconvenience at the moment. People deserve as many chances as they are willing to take to make things right or help out. Don’t give people second chances because the first should never expire.