Giving a second chance is good for both people

Published 5:00am Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I’ve realized lately that one of the rare commodities in small towns (like ours) is a second chance.
Most of us typically know our neighbors, we have heard the neighborhood gossip, and we think we know the ups and downs associated with the lives of our acquaintances. Our trusting nature enables us to remain open to people in the beginning, but once we’re hurt or disappointed we have a tendency to turn away.
Who wants to be in a position of being hurt or disappointed over and over? Not many.
However, there is a small group among us who believe wholeheartedly in second chances. What makes them more open to the concept than the rest of us?
Perhaps, they have been given a second chance. Maybe it’s a reflection of up-bringing or religious beliefs. Christ’s advice to “let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” has a nagging way of reminding me that I should not be judgmental when situations arise.
That doesn’t erase the fear of opening yourself up again to the possibility of being hurt. We can blame trust for that.
Sure, along with second chances you have to step out on a limb and employ a little trust. Maybe that’s really the hardest part for us all. Our trust is incredibly precious and even more vulnerable. It certainly takes a long time to build and has the ability to disappear in an instant.
In spite of fear and mistrust, I urge you to be open to second chances. Stop and think of where you would be if you were never offered a second chance.
Would things in or around your life be somewhat different? Could you have changed someone’s life for the better if you had offered another chance to make things right? Employ a little trust, step out on a limb, and offer a second chance or two.
I have, and I can honestly say it’s made a difference in my life and in their lives.
The feeling of knowing that I have contributed to positive influence and change makes the fear I felt in the beginning well worth it.

Shannon Elliott is general manager os the Elmore County newspapers of Tallapoosa Publishers. Contact her at

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