second chances

How do you decide who is worthy of a second chance in life?  How do you deem the worth of one’s value?

I know this is far too broad a topic, and extenuating circumstances will change the outcome for many people, depending on what the situation looks like.  But in general, are we programmed to cut people off or to continue to give them chances to succeed?  Where do we draw the line for our own mental or physical security?

This has nothing to do with past relationships that are creeping back in, although I know that is often where people tend to consider the second chances coming into play.  I am taking this as a much broader topic.  Think about reformed drug addicted individuals, gamblers who no longer gamble, military personnel who have come back from deployment with severe PTSD, or the teenager who has tried to take his/her own life.

It seems to me that the majority of the topics that I have considered have a mental health component attached to them.  Whether it is an addiction, or there is something else happening that causes mental unwellness, the bottom line to me is that it is an illness.  There are so many stigmas attached to mental illness, and that in itself is a hurdle to conquer.  Mental illness needs the same care and attention as physical illness.

Do people suffer the same lingering prejudices if they had pneumonia, broken bones or even cancer as those who have ADHD, bipolar disease or schizophrenia?  Generally, no.  Why?  Because if it is a physical ailment, people can visually see that the individual is better.  But with mental illness, it takes trust and a leap of faith to believe that the individual has healed or is under control.

Trust.  Faith.  Support.

Everybody is worthy of a second chance.  Particularly those who have realized their need for help and sought it out.  Why should they be shunned for this higher level thinking?  Because they have identified their own need?  It could happen to every one of us in some form or another.  Life is full of second chances.  You may be that second chance for someone who needs it.

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