Do you think that everybody deserves a second chance?
No, actually, I don’t think they do.
I think that most people deserve a second chance, absolutely. None of us are perfect, and we all make mistakes that we regret. I know I have. It doesn’t do to be absolutist about things – thereby leads the way to fundamentalism, I think. We need to be kind to others and give them a chance to make their mistakes right. It’s not always easy to do, and requires us to deal with unpleasant emotions in ourselves which makes it difficult to have a generous enough heart to offer people a second chance.
The thing is, I think that there some mistakes that are so big, so hurtful, that to offer somebody a second chance is to open yourself up to a world of heartache. I was listening to a true crime podcast recently, and one of the hosts said that the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour and I think that there’s a lot of truth in that. There has been a certain gentleman in my life who did not behave as I wished he had. I decided to part company from him, and duly deleted him from my life. Months later, on my birthday, a large and expensive bouquet of flowers appeared with an apology for his behaviour. I was reluctant to get back in contact again, but I have him the benefit of the doubt, especially as I told him in great detail how hurtful I had found his behaviour before. Lo and behold, a few months later, I had to make the decision to move on once more.
Not only was I hurt by his behaviour – again – but I was angry with myself. I knew he had behaved like this before, and I was stupid enough to assume that he would change just because he said he would. I felt like an idiot.
Now, he wasn’t at all violent or anything like that: I would never accept a man back into my life if he harmed me physically. Yet I was willing to do so, albeit a little reluctantly, when he harmed me emotionally because I’ve picked up this message from somewhere that women are supposed to forgive men when they behave like a total dick, that having a man in your life is better than not having one, even when he’s completely unreliable.
No more. No more second chances for that.