This I Believe

john - vanleer, Tennessee
Entered on May 31, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I Believe In Second Chances

We picked up Betty’s ashes from the Vet last week. Betty was our 13+ year-old basset we rescued several years ago. She was one of 24 animals we’ve rescued in all. Horses, a donkey, dogs, cats, birds; twenty-four in all. Some couples adopt unwanted children. We adopt unwanted animals.

Betty showed us her love and gratitude every day until the end. She showed us she knew how lucky she was to have a second chance, and not end up at the pound, destined for a lethal injection.

I believe in second chances. With animals, people, situations, everything. A belief in second chances is the only thing that can keep us from giving up on life. It’s the only thing that proves we still have any kind of hope for anything.

Everything, everyone we encounter can either be better, or worse than it is. A second chance can make the difference. A second chance can help an ex-convict from going back to crime or drugs, or a horse from being sold for slaughter, or outright civil war from breaking out in Iraq. In other words, a second chance is sometimes the only thing that can make something better…the only thing that can help someone believe in themselves again.

I believe that second chances are the only way we can hope to save ourselves from ourselves. We have to trust in things and people, albeit prudently, that we have no good reason to trust in. It’s a matter of faith for certain. Faith in the one who created everything; faith in the fact that each of us has a definite purpose in this life even though we might not yet know what it is, or even though that purpose might seem very small in comparison to other things.

The second chance we give today grows exponentially when those we believe in pay that gift forward to other second chancees. Sure, you’ll probably get burned on second chances as many times as they work out. Just like flipping a coin, you’re likely to get heads and tails an equal number of times. By comparison, baseball players are considered phenomenal if they hit .350. So we should be happy if half of the second chances we give turn out all right. That means having a good result five out of every ten tries. Not bad.

The real point is that no matter how bad things look, we can never stop believing that improvement is a possibility. We can never stop trying again where we, or someone else has already failed. We have to study, and dissect what went wrong, find a way to improve things, step into the batter’s box, and swing the bat; again.

So, I believe in second chances. I hope everyone does.