Monday, 19 July 2010

The rule of the second chance...

Whenever we see the break of dawn we are assured of a new day, a second chance if you will, not to erase the mistakes of yesterday or change it in any way but to right some of the wrongs and get us back on track. Sunrise signifies a new opportunity to make different choices that will alter our paths, if we choose well, for the good. A second chance works in a similar way. It does not discount the failures and successes of days gone by but gives us a new opportunity to revisit an element of our past in hopes that we will make better choices the second time around.


There is a school of thought that diligence in preparation, attention to detail and devotion in relationships are not as important as they used to be. We live in times where the media encourages us to be self-indulged and absorbed. If we like it, we should 'just do it'. If we fail its because of our childhood so we don't have to take responsibility we can blame our parents. If we don't do well in education we can blame our teachers and the government will make exams easier so we don't really have to try. If we fail to meet our targets at work, we get paid anyway and in performance reviews managers are expected to be sensitive to under achievers and the lost goes on! We live in a time when more and more people find themselves looking for a second chance because society permits failure as common place in all aspects of life. So much so that it is sugar coated and sold as 'non-viable efforts'. People who fit into this category go through half their lives before they realise they have been fed a lie and they try to find a way to change their life and make more positive choices...second chances at life...


What many people do not appreciate is that an opportunity once gone, is gone forever...you cant be 16 again or take back spoken words or regain lost time. A second chance is often viewed as a means for going back over what is done and 'un-spilling spilt milk' if you like. This is particularly so in relationships between people, whether it be parent and child, siblings, relatives, friends, or lovers. There is a tendency in these relationships to speak too rashly to a point where familiarity breads contempt, to act thoughtlessly where the impact on other people is not considered and the result is always a breakdown in the relationship. In these situations of betrayal, hurt and sometimes heartbreak, ties can be severed and damage, sometimes irreversible damage results. In times like these, when we realise out failings, we wish for, even pray for a second chance...


The reality is that all of these actions, inactions, failures, mistakes, words all have an effect on those who commit them and those at the receiving end. No experience in life leaves us unscathed...On way or another there is an impact, we are somehow altered, even slightly but what we hear and experience and the result is that put in the same circumstances / relationship again, we will be different people and therefore the second chance if you like is not the same opportunity that was once lost. The changes in other people and in us have such an impact upon is that if we fail to recognise these changes and attempt to navigate the second opportunity based on the 'old rules' if you like, we may find ourselves back at the point of failure simply because the fail to realise that second chances are new opportunities not re-runs of the opportunities lost...


When I think of the things in my life I would like a second chance at, those I had a second chance at and ruined and those I will never have the opportunity to revisit in my lifetime, I realise the the first rule of the second chance is that it is not a guarantee nor is it promised to anyone and it is never a second chance at the first opportunity but a whole different opportunity with a different set of circumstances altogether. So whenever we sabotage ourselves through our pride, ignorance or sheer laziness and procrastination or our words... we need to understand that the thing with second chances is that you don't get one...

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