Carl - Frankfort, Kentucky
Entered on February 20, 2009

I know that everyone has heard the phrase: Put yourself in their shoes. But, I also know that most everyone who hears it thinks nothing of it. This is a phrase that I have been trying to live my life by, since I first began to understand the saying. It ties into so many different aspects of life, including being human and making mistakes. Or, not really making the mistakes yourself, but forgiving, or pardoning the mistakes someone else has made.

There I was, sitting, contemplating why I had done what I had done. My friends and acquaintances murmuring amongst themselves surrounded me. I wasn’t trying to ruin anything; I just had to tell her what was happening between them. Every now and then I caught a few words that floated through the air. There was so much more that she didn’t know. I couldn’t just let it go untold. Of the jumble of words I heard something about a backstabber, and a relationship being ruined.

Every person, regardless of gender, orientation, or any other pointless stereotyping personal detail, has made a mistake in their life. It is part of being a human. And not all of these mistakes are harmless, but most are genuine mistakes, that could not, on most accounts, have been prevented. I believe that these genuine mistakes should be forgiven, although it may not always be the easiest thing to do.

What I had told her, was how, even though she had been dating Mark for several weeks now, he still liked other people, and wasn’t committed to her completely. It wasn’t to hurt any one, but to protect her, and I wished everyone have understood that. And give me a second chance at being a good friend.

When its your turn to pass judgment on someone, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes helps. You don’t always know everything that’s going on with someone who has made a mistake. Because, though it may seem to you that they have done something blatantly wrong, it may really have been an accident. By forgiving an mistake, giving that person a second chance at whatever it is that they were doing, and second chances, can make all the difference. This also gives people a chance to learn from their mistakes, as opposed to punishing them for it.

I guess some things are just best left unsaid. Eventually the majority of my friends forgot about the incident, and moved on in life, with me as their friend. I had recognized that I had made a great mistake, and they had forgiven me. Mark, on the other hand, had not been so forgiving. But, can I blame him? I ruined one of his first successful relationships, and I know it would be hard for me to forgive someone in my place if I were him.

Second chances have the potential to be the greatest gifts in the world. But, I guess Mark wasn’t ready to give me that chance, and because of it I lost one of my best friends. If I am ever put into his shoes, I hope that I can live by the saying: Put yourself in their shoes. And make a difference in someone’s life.