By Kevin Sheehan, Special Columnist
“Vivus: An Exposition Of A Volatile Mind” by Kevin Sheehan is available in digital and in print on Amazon.com!
Regardless of weekly content, this column is designed to help others expand their way of thinking and promote creativity, empathy, and thought in general.
One thing that the universe does not hand out frequently is second chances. For anyone who has had the pleasure of receiving one, it can literally change your life if you learn from the first chance that went awry. Of course, if the person doesn’t learn from the second chance, who at that point is to blame?
People are weird. There is no getting around that. All too often we can blame ourselves for the mistakes of others simply because we should have seen it coming, but refuse to acknowledge it. But if we give someone a second chance on something, and they fail, who really is to blame?
I would like to think that we are not. After all, isn’t the rule treat others the way you want to be treated? Would you yourself not want a second chance at something? Yes, perhaps you got the short end of the stick, but did you not prove in that situation that you are a caring person, a forgiving person? Granted, a third chance may not always be in your best interest. But as always, no matter where we are, it is ourselves who we fall asleep with at night, so we need to be able to answer at least to ourselves.
I realize there is a striking ambiguity that can be associated with what I have said so far. To my defense, chances come in a variety of flavors. Perhaps a friend who is a drug addict has resurfaced, saying they are getting clean. Perhaps it is your relationship with your spouse or significant other that you must give another chance. Perhaps a dream you once gave up on that you have always wanted to accomplish has been hanging heavy on your head, and you need to take another chance. Or maybe you are just tired of life, and feel like giving up, and it is yourself you need to give another chance.
Now I am not saying that you must give someone another chance, but I am saying it is not a decision to be made lightly. Like the article from last week, we cannot help to heal others if we don’t heal ourselves, and thus maybe another chance for that situation has to wait.
I can personally attest that I would not be here if life itself hadn’t given me another chance, and I am sure plenty of others can relate. Whether it be a near death experience, the struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts, or being forgiven for a grievous error, an experience that helps us appreciate the fragility and sanctity of life allows us to then appreciate the ability to show mercy to others since we ourselves have been shown mercy.
Life is hard. We all end up in situations that can test our character, our resilience, our ethics. Some of us pass those tests, some of us fail. Regret is a widely known emotion for a reason. But compassion, empathy, and love can help soothe that wound of regret in others and in yourself. That is, if you’re willing to take that chance.
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