This I Believe

Kimberly - Greenville, North Carolina
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I Believe in Second Chances

This I believe…I believe in second chances. I believe that we will all make decisions in which the consequences were not what we expected. Negative consequences are often deserved, and although we have a small notion that they will occur, we are not always certain. Humans are allotted a certain free will in which mistakes become inevitable. With this free will we are also given the decision to forgive and allow others to prove themselves.

Growing up I witnessed many mistakes. These mistakes were made by both of my parents -the two people who were suppose to give me guidance and advice. Yet, I was often looking at them and knowing that in order to be successful I would need to take a complete opposite path. My parents are both amazing people, but it has taken second chances and even third chances for me to see that quality.

My mother and father married very young as the result of my mother’s pregnancy with my oldest sister. They then had two more children, me being the third. They fought almost everyday, in fact those are the only memories I can even recollect from their marriage. Having children was supposed to bring them closer, instead with each child their relationship worsened. At the end of their marriage they were both having affairs. My mother’s resulted in the creation of my half sister, and my father’s gave me a new stepmother. I was only six when all of this began unraveling, so forgiveness was easy to find. I know the saying “time heals all things”, but my family required a lot of time.

My mother’s new boyfriend (the father of my half sister), quickly entered our lives. He moved in almost immediately as my father moved out. He had, and still has, a serious drug and alcohol problem. He charmed my mom when he was sober, and beat her when he was under the influence. He did not work or make any contributions to our family. My mother gave him chance after chance until the day he went to prison.

My father quickly moved in with his mistress. He began a new life that did not include his children. I know that he has always loved us, and will always love us, but love is a hard emotion for my father to share. He did not realize the importance of phone calls and letters. He always knew the importance of work and promotions, yet disregarded child support as an important part of his life. After many years of living in poverty I began to hate my father.

I was unable to forgive my parents for a long time. For many years I did not know that I was even blaming them for my unhappiness. My parents began to make a lot of positive changes in their lives. My father calls me now, and my mother is making positive, beneficial decisions everyday. My parents have given their friendship a second chance, and now communicate with each other. No family is perfect, especially ours, but we are trying now to learn from the past and give each other as many chances as we need.

We have survived these crises and have all proved ourselves to be better, stronger people. I never hesitate to give chances now that I am older. There is no one is this world that I hate. In order to receive forgiveness you must also give. There are mistakes, or what some of us call sins, that are so terrible and unfathomable that it is hard for us to ever imagine finding peace. I have dealt with this and realized that without second chances we are all doomed. Not only am I able to forgive, but most importantly I am able to look at people with an open mind that is not judgmental of their past.