Note: I recommended some movies in the last paragraphs.
I made this post because a while ago, my mutual on Twitter asked about whether or not someone who’s made a terrible mistake deserves an apology and a second chance. They asked me to share my thoughts. I wrote my thoughts there but then I think it’s good to post them here too, so I copy-pasted my answers there here, and add some more.
Well, I think it’s interesting, but maybe it’s not easy to answer. It will always depend, right? But I think, to answer such a question, we also have to have this in mind: “What if I’m the one who made a severe mistake, do I want people to allow me to apologize and give me a second chance?” It’s easy to say no when it’s someone else who did the mistake. It’s easy to say “I won’t do that” or “I will never do such things” when we’ve never been in their situation, but we’re also human; we can make mistakes too. Not being open to this possibility, not being open to a possibility that we too can make such mistakes is, I think, sorry, a bit arrogant 🙏
So, yes, it is a bit hard. Do they deserve a second chance? Should we forgive them? I mean, the answer can be yes or no. Like, how severe? Does the person really show some remorse and regret what they did? Have they tried to make amends? Or do they actually make the same mistakes again and again? I know it can be very hard to forgive someone, sometimes we can forgive but not forget. But, well, people change, for better or worse. If the change is for the better, why not? Why not giving them a second chance, right? Theoretically, “God forgive people, why can’t we?” (Maybe because we’re not God. LoL 😌🙈😅✌)
But you know, sometimes people really repent their bad deeds, and it’s already hard to live with guilt. And maybe, we need to know why they did what they did. Sometimes people did it because they didn’t know it’s wrong (maybe because it’s been normalized or such), sometimes people had to do it ’cause they’re pinched in such a situation and thought they had no better option, etc. So if they really feel sorry, and really change for the better, I don’t see why they don’t deserve a second chance. After all, “Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.”
But if one can’t forgive them, that’s understandable too ’cause we’re free to make mistakes, but we’re not free from the consequences. Being hated and not being forgiven for the mistake we made is also a consequence, so we can’t really whine about it, can we? We really can’t blame people for not being able to forgive either ’cause sometimes we can’t feel the pain the person has caused them. We don’t know what they’ve been through due to that one terrible mistake someone has made.
Well, this friend of mine (my mutual on Twitter) seems to have done something wrong in the past (I don’t know what, but that’s what they implied). Well, I see that they feel really sorry for that, and maybe they have been trying to be a better person, but they are anxious that people would always remind them of what they did in the past. They are worried that people would keep blaming, hating, and judging them on their past. Well, I can’t blame those people, ’cause again, it’s just one of the consequences of making a terrible mistake. However, I believe everyone deserves to be happy. We live in the present. We don’t live in the past. Hence, I think, if we made a terrible mistake, really felt sorry about that, regretted it, and have been trying to make amends, have been trying to be a better person, then I think we should just focus on doing good and better at the present and the future.
People can keep judging us based on our past. And we can do nothing about it. We cannot change it either, can we? What happened happened. It’s true that our past will forever be a part of us, but the past is only there for us to learn to be better. We don’t live there anymore. We can’t change it no matter what. So it’s better to focus on the present time. We just need to owe our mistake, take responsibility, (and suffer from the consequence?). However, again, if we really have changed for the better, I think it’s ok to not listen to those who keep judging our past. We don’t live there anymore, right? There’s no need to keep punishing ourselves. I mean, the only punishment we should give ourselves is “do good and be better”. Trust me, it isn’t easy. Or, am I too self-indulgent or self-forgiving? I don’t know, but, “Remember only God can judge us, forget the haters ’cause somebody loves ya.” (Miley Cyrus, 2013)
And, well, it’s another story if the same mistake is done repeatedly. Then, NO. It’s not a second chance anymore, right? Third chance, fourth chance, etc., no? Then NO, don’t give them another chance. Well, you can if you want or if you’re so patient, but for me, “Nope, I’ve learned my lesson.” I’m not that patient. I’m not that willing to give people a third chance, fourth chance, etc. Well, maybe I do. But, I don’t know. I guess, like I said, it will always depend… At least that’s what I love to think.
Well, what about not being able to forgive someone? Well, I think if someone makes a mistake but we can’t forgive them, it’s better to leave them alone. I’m not so forgiving myself. Well, maybe I forgive, but I don’t really forget, so yeah, I’ll still remember the pain. But, well, I think it’s not good to keep judging them either or think they won’t change. I mean, why focus on someone who’s hurt us? If they’ve caused us enormous pain, then leave them. It’s ok if we can’t give them a second chance, but at least let them have another chance to be better with others. There are some people who I think have hurt me. Well, they might have changed for the better, and I’m glad about that. Our relationship might be not as good as it was before, but I don’t go around telling people how they’ve hurt me. And if they try to be good to me, then I do the same. But that’s just it. Like, going back to the way it was will never be easy ’cause it is never the same anymore. So, well, at least I try to be “professional” when dealing with them. (But of course, I don’t really forget what they did, so if they make the same mistake I can point that out to them and say, “So you don’t really change, huh?” Well, sorry…)
But, anyway, talking about guilt and forgiveness and a second chance, it reminds me of a movie I’ve watched. I reviewed it before (please read here). I think we can learn a lot from this movie: Holding onto the past too much is not good. And sometimes we really need to let go, forgive others, AND forgive OURSELVES.
And, well, talking about “a severe mistake”, it reminds me of another movie I watched: Tegami: Keigo Higashino. I watched this movie for Kame, of course, because I love him. But really, we can learn a lot. 1) When we did something, please also think about how the people around us might also have to suffer the consequences, and 2) people have to stop judging someone for what someone else did just because they are related. 3) Just because someone did something bad to others, doesn’t mean their love for us ain’t real. Ah, I want to cry if I remember this movie. ’cause it’s one of those situations where “there’s nothing we can do”… it makes us feel helpless. Why did I say what I said? Spoilers: Well, the character’s played by Kame has to suffer because of what his brother did. His brother killed someone. He was sent to jail. But his love for Kame was real! However, because of what he did, Kame’s life turned to be so tough ’cause people always saw him as the brother of a murderer. It affected his study, his work, and even his family when he finally got married. Gosh, it was awful. Also, Kame tried to apologize to the family of the person that his brother killed, but of course, they couldn’t accept it, and his efforts just brought them some pain. So, you see, it’s really helpless. What made me angry was, why should Kame also suffer for something he didn’t do? Why did people judge him too? I really feel like crying seeing his struggle to get by every day 🙁
And talking about judging people for what someone else did also reminds me of another movie: One Night. Takeru Satoh starred in this movie. Spoilers: The mother killed the abusive father to free the kids from his violence. The mother went to jail, but the kids felt like their life got worse because people kept harassing them and labeling them as the children of a murderer. Gosh, just what’s so wrong with our society? I get it that murder is not the only way to solve the problem, but what have they done to help the family when the father was abusing them? So they are not okay with the murder of an abusive person but they are okay with the abuse the person commits? Jeez. I don’t know. But, oh well, yes the murder is wrong, the abuse is also wrong, but it’s not a reason to harass the kids as they grow up 🙁 So, well, yeah, we should really think of how the people we love might suffer the consequences of what we did. The mother in this movie meant really well, but her kids had to suffer the consequences of what she did, so it’s bad… But, well, maybe you can try to watch it? It’s a 18+ movie, though. So maybe don’t watch it with kids?
And, by the way, talking about a second chance, maybe you can watch Shabon Dama movie (I reviewed it here). It’s kinda funny but heartwarming at the same time 🙂
Above are the results of the polls that I put on Facebook.
Above are the results of the poll I put on Instagram.
PS: Actually I made a poll on Instagram, asking the same question, but I also ask them if they want to be forgiven and given a second chance supposed they’ve made a terrible mistake. Well, the answers vary, of course. And I think it’s interesting. There are really various kinds of people. 1) There are people who can forgive others and themselves easily, 2) There are people who can forgive others easily but cannot forgive themselves that easily (the type who loves to be too hard on themselves. Phew), 3) There are people who find it hard to forgive both others and themselves, and the last one might be a bit ironic: 4) there are people who cannot forgive others easily but if they made the same mistakes, they want to be forgiven and given a second chance, i.e. they can forgive themselves easily. This last type is so not fair for others, no? And based on the numbers of voters on both polls, I guess people find it easier to answer the question about forgiving themselves than about forgiving others. Like, many don’t vote on the first poll, about whether or not someone deserves a second chance, but they vote on the second poll, about whether or not they want to be forgiven and given a second chance. So maybe it’s harder to forgive others ’cause it depends, i.e. you’re not sure if they have really changed, while it’s easier to answer the second question ’cause you know that you’ve changed for the better? I don’t know, but I guess we should be fair with ourselves, and with others too. And, well, bless everyone who can always forgive others and themselves. Really, sometimes, life is easier that way. But, of course, don’t forget to learn the lessons^^