Be sparing with second chances

Liz Stephens, Columnist

By Liz Stephens



I used to always think everybody who has wronged me deserved a second chance to be a better person. I’ve realized that most people don’t have intentions on becoming and developing themselves into better people, so why give them a second chance to act the same as they did before?

I caught myself telling my sisters at my nephew’s birthday party recently that when people show you who they are, we need to believe them. I don’t know what the human fascination is with having such a persistent faith that those who suck are somehow “faking it” and are different than what they show us.

People constantly validate other individuals’ crappy actions by saying “that isn’t who he/she really is,” when that person is making it clear as day who they are and what their intentions are.

I’ve noticed that people like to hang on to this fascination and end up hurt repetitively.

If an estranged-looking woman broke into your house and told you they are a murderer and will kill you and your family, you should probably believe them, not make excuses of “maybe they just will change their ways and I’ll be the exception” or “maybe I can change them.” If you put this mindset into context, even though that scenario is extremely dramatic and fake, it sounds silly to make excuses for those who aren’t trying to hide who they are from us.

If someone tells you their intentions and shows you who they are, believe them the first time and accept it instead of hoping they will be different.

Second chances should be thought through for those who recognize their behavior and are making an actual effort to change.

Everybody has their own ways where they fall short or aren’t the best. Some deserve grace where we recognize we all aren’t perfect and can make mistakes. People need to recognize the difference between people making mistakes and people taking advantage of them because they are consistently forgiven for those mistakes.

I had to learn the hard way by loving an uncle with a drug addiction that mistakes are accidents, and people doing things to hurt you but keep doing them after already being forgiven do so intentionally.

It is important to learn the balance of when second chances are deserved and when you are just giving someone a free pass to keep repeating their behavior.

Liz Stephens is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]