It amazes me how many times in an entire lifetime we find reasons upon reasons (whether they are valid or otherwise) to not give others a chance. Even if they have taken every opportunity to show us that they are amongst the most deserving and worthy, even if they have shown us that they are worth keeping around and that they are not the one who is going to disappoint us, like many others have in the past.
If you asked me why I think this is, I would say it’s because people want to live a safe life, which means taking as little risks as possible. Why? Because risks are full of uncertainty, and we never know what the end result will be. We can choose to take risks, of course, but the outcome is ultimately out of our control. Though it might seem obvious, giving someone a chance is a risk in itself. When we decide to give them one, we don’t know what they’re going to do with it…whether they’re going to throw it away or take it for granted. We don’t know if we’re going to regret it further down the line or if will be one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Because we don’t know if it’ll pay off or not until after the deal is done, I think that many people turn down the opportunity to give others a chance because, as the saying goes: ignorance is bliss.
Many people do not want to admit when they’ve made a mistake. They don’t want to put themselves in a position where they’ve given someone a chance only for it to be abused, and end up telling themselves ‘you should have known better than to think it was going to be a good decision‘ or ‘you should have known they were just going to disappoint you‘. People are often looking for ways to avoid being betrayed or hurt by another person, and the best way to do this? Refrain from giving out chances full stop…whether they be first or second. I believe that many people would rather not bother and never find out if they were right or wrong, rather than taking the risk of finding out for themselves through the act of giving someone a chance. Essentially, many people refrain from giving chances to others out of fear of being proved wrong.
In my opinion, such an act requires trust. I guess you could say I see this as a prerequisite of sorts. Before you give someone a chance, you should be able to say with confidence that you trust them not to abuse it. Sure, you may be proved wrong as we never know what the outcome will be, but it’s important that you have trust in the other person to back up your decision to give them a chance in the first place. You should not find yourself questioning why you decided to do so, so trust is always a good place to start. And if you do trust them, it’s probably because they have earned it and that’s why I believe it’s a good next step to give them a chance. In my opinion this makes them even more deserving and worthy of you deciding to take such a risk, plus there’s a much higher chance that they will value it and that it will pay off in the long run, especially if that level of trust is mutual.
So why is it that so many people still deny others a chance, even when they have proven themselves to be trustworthy and a risk worth taking? Why are we still denied what we ultimately deserve? I understand that no one ‘owes’ anyone else anything in this life, but I also believe that everybody deserves to be given a chance, unless they have proven you wrong in the past or there’s a good reason which has has lead you believe otherwise. If someone has consistently shown themselves to be trustworthy, genuine, reliable, supportive and present throughout your time of knowing them, then surely they are the best candidates and the ones worth a risk on your behalf? If someone has given you every reason to do so, and zero reasons not to, then surely what comes next is obvious?
But what happens when we are prepared to give someone a chance but they are not willing to give us one in return? What happens when the decision isn’t mutual? Because the reality is, even if we decide we’re willing to give someone we know a chance, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be willing to give us one in return, whether or not we have shown them that we are most deserving of one. What happens when your door is wide open for all kinds of possibilities with regards to them, but theirs isn’t for you? How hurtful is it to realise that you were prepared to do this for them but they weren’t for you, even when you did everything right and were the best that you could possibly be? How hurtful is it to realise that you’ve taken every opportunity to show them all of your amazing qualities…only for it to still not be enough for them? What happens when their best is enough for you but yours isn’t for them?
Lucy Rebecca x