Second Chances

Brendan - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: forgiveness
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Second Chances

People make mistakes every day. It is human nature. Sometimes, people make small mistakes, as minor as misspelling a word; other times people make much larger one. However, that no matter how severe a mistake is, I believe in second chances.

I have led a far from perfect life. It seems as though I am unable to make it through an entire day without messing up. Even when I was younger, I found it incredibly difficult to stay out of trouble. No matter what I did, though, my parents always gave me a chance to try again. One time when I was about 7 years old, I decided that I really wanted some candy. So, as my mother shopped for healthy foods, I snuck over to the candy aisle to see what I could plunder. A tiny pack of FunDip caught my attention, so I placed it in my pocket and hurried back to my mother so she would never notice. And she didn’t, until I chose to eat it as soon as we returned home; she instantly knew what I had done. She did punish me, but not as harshly as I expected; I did not understand that, so I asked her about it. She replied, “If you do not give someone a second chance, how can you be sure they learned from their mistake?” That message has stuck with me for my entire life, and because of its power, I always give others a second chance.

A friend of mine once decided it would be fun to experiment with microwaves. He put random assortments of markers in the school microwave and watched them explode out of their plastic shells. However, after a few minutes, the awe created by the spectacle wore off so he decided to continue further. He found a shirt under a bench nearby and decided “What the heck!” as he put it in the microwave. Nothing happened. Disappointed, he then added the next thing he could find, which was a metal lock. The metal caused the microwave to set the shirt on fire, so he immediately stomped it out with his boots before the smoke detector noticed. I came back to that room a few minutes later to find my new orange t-shirt singed and black. Although I was very unhappy with him for a few days, I decided to let it go, and gave him a second chance. We are now very good friends and will always remain so, because I gave him that second chance.

Depending on a person’s perspective, mistakes can be huge, petit, or somewhere in the middle. However, I believe in second chances. If a person makes a mistake or acts without thinking, they deserve a second chance to learn from it. As a person, I now feel better knowing that, like me, everyone can make mistakes, and they deserve a second chance as much as I do. That is why I believe in second chances.