Taking Chances

by Linda Jenkinson |

When we are ready to forgive someone, we often say that we'll "give them a second chance." That's backwards. Life is taking chances, not givng them.

First of all, giving someone a chance is like selling them a raffle ticket. If they win the raffle, what do they win? Friendship and love are neither gifts nor prizes. Nobody gives another person a chance. When we welcome somebody into our lives, we expect to get something in return.

When we take a chance on someone, they are also taking a chance on us. We bet that the people we care about will care about us. We bet that they will treat us with love and kindness. We bet that they will add value to our lives. They are betting the same thing.

When friends or family disappoint us, we can be tempted to boot them right out of our lives. If we do, we are taking a huge chance. When you lock someone out of your life, you take a chance. They may not want to come back in, if and when you are ready to welcome them.

Sometimes we meet someone who we don't want to include in our sphere of interest. It may be they don't have the physical attributes, the style, or the social status that impresses us. In short, sometimes the people we meet don't "measure up to our standards." That's always a huge mistake. You are, in essence, supposing that person will never add value to your life. If you are 110 years old, that could be true. If you are younger, there may come a time when that person is the exact friend you need at your side.

If you look back over your life, you can likely find many instances of people that didn't "measure up." folks that you would never invite to dinner or add to your Christmas list. Yet, you did your best to get along with them because you had to.

Life puts you in situations where you have to tolerate those you may regard as your adversaries. The teacher that rubbed you the wrong way may be the very one to set you on your life path. There are many reasons why you take a chance on others, even if they don't measure up. For instance, your boss may be a tool, but the benefits and salary of your job may outweigh his loutishness.

All in all, we each have to decide if having someone in our lives is beneficial or not. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? Does their friendship hold a hidden opportunity just beyond tomorrow's horizon?


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