This I Believe

Stefany - Wilmington, Massachusetts
Entered on December 3, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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When you do something wrong, it’s hard to tell if someone is going to give you a second chance. Maybe family members will, or even your closest friend, but there’s really no telling. Maybe they will give you a second chance and it will just take them a while to hand it to you. Either way, second chances are risky, and often do not work out the way you planned. If you are the one to make the decision whether to give the chance, you never know if the person will take it for granted. You don’t quite know whether they will get the hint. You never know if they will grow out of their habit of letting you down.

I believe in second chances. We are only human, and we deserve them. We learn in life that forgiveness is a key component in making mistakes, whether someone forgives you after you mess up, or they don’t. Either we learned it in school, in church, or in life in general. People make mistakes, some bigger than others. Some may seem unforgivable, and some can be forgotten overnight. The worst kind of mistake, though, is one done by someone you trust. This mistake can affect you in the worst ways. It can be tough to get over. It’s even worse when you can’t let it go, even after all the “I forgive yous”.

Some people think that hating someone is a mistake. I don’t like to hate, but I must admit that I say it a lot. Being hated isn’t fun, especially if it’s for a reason that isn’t your fault. When people hate you for things like your figure or your personality, it hurts. When you think they have nothing to be jealous of, but yet they still are, it makes you want to change yourself. You want to change so that they don’t hurt anymore, so that they don’t feel worse about themselves. It’s not easy when you hear them say they hate you because of how you look and how you act; even harder when they know your listening to all these things and they still say it; almost like they want you to hear. When I finally realized how much a friend was hurting me, I didn’t want to give that second chance. I didn’t want to forgive her; afraid she would still let me down. I didn’t want to make it worse; I mostly wanted to forget, though I knew I never would. Do you know the worst part? Because they hate you, they put themselves in danger. They hurt themselves to the point of almost giving up because of who you are, and who they’re not. Through her eating disorders and emotional difficulties, I understood the effects our friendship was having on her. I didn’t want a life like this, knowing that my friend’s problems were because of me. It’s hard when you blame yourself. When you do that, you get angry, and second chances get stuck inside your pocket.

After a while, I gave that second chance, even when I regretted it. When I wanted to stay angry at her, I gave it because I cared about her and I wanted to give her an opportunity to make things right between us. I still think about that time in my life when I had to think long and hard about forgiving my friend for what she did to me and how she made me feel about myself. Though it’s difficult to be reminded of it because I wonder how it will affect me later on in life, I know that this experience made me stronger and I now realize that loving yourself can truly affect people. Sometimes, a second chance is all someone needs. Even if they don’t use when they should, its there if they need to be forgiven; everyone does.