Take Two

We’ve all seen it happen in T.V. shows and movies, seemingly something that saves the story and leads it to a happier ending, when someone decides to let past faults pass, and start anew. But, second chances are actions hard to give, but so graciously and thankfully received. It’s like erasing a whiteboard full of writing, and

Photo Mark Strozier 2004 © (CC BY 2.0)

starting over on a fresh and clean one, minus a few old marks here and there that may never go away. But it came to me a while ago, that it takes great courage to give someone another opportunity to prove that they are beneficial to one’s life. So what components come together to convince someone to give another individual a second chance? Obviously, the underlying reason would be that it just depends on the relationship or the situation, but some smaller emotional aspects could potentially come into play as well. I decided analyze a question relating to this topic, that I’ve heard asked several times, which is “Do you believe in second chances?”


One of the ways I interpreted this question was whether or not a person believes that second chances might work out for the better. In this sense, it is understood that everyone makes mistakes, and we all have our bad days. Therefore, second chances

Photo Rishi Bandopadhay 2010 © (CC BY-NC 2.0)

would  allow that person to have another opportunity to prove that they can do better, or has changed since a certain incident occurred. In this way, a fresh start would let them verify that they made a mistake or their actions or words were misconstrued in some way, and that another go should be considered. Processing the question in this way shows that the giver’s optimism is set on their future, thinking positively about the fact that another attempt may end merrily.

I’ve also thought about his question asking whether or not second chances should be given. For clarification, the difference between this interpretation and the first would be

Photo Michael Toy 2004 © (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

whether one has hope (believes) in second chances, or whether they believe everyone deserves a second chance. Thinking about the question in this lens states that everyone is worthy of another shot, because they are “qualified”, in a way, to get a second chance after their wrongdoing, no matter how bad it was. In this interpretation, the forgiver focuses their optimism on the individual specifically, and is in a state of hopefulness that the other person has changed and gotten a better grasp or perspective on life.






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