Everyone deserves a second chance. Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. We are only humans, and sometimes we fail. Sometimes life gets so hard and we lose the will to continue fighting. And those are the times when we need others the most, especially those that believe in us.
When you fail, you need someone to encourage you, to motivate you by pulling you up and walking with you as long as it takes. When you’re losing focus and almost giving up on that project, you need someone to be there to remind you to keep focus and keep fighting until you finish that project or whatever you started.
That someone can be; your parent, your sibling, your spouse, uncle, a guardian, or just a friend. He or she, or they, have seen you from the beginning and probably know you better than any other living person, and they’ve been with you from when your were just starting out on whatever that keeps you going. These are the people who walked with you from back in college when you were still looking for an industrial attachment to when you were applying for that internship and to the position you are in now at that company. When you’ve had a bad day they’re the ones that give you a shoulder to lean and cry on, and when you excel, they’ll selflessly congratulate you and shower you with presents.
In life, we don’t need people who are always working on pulling us down, people who rejoice in your pain and suffering. You don’t need people who celebrate in your failure and backbite you for ages afterwards. You don’t need people who are only there when it’s all rosy and they’re gone at the sight of a problem. People who are gone at the slightest misunderstanding.
A few months ago after the release of this year’s KCPE – Kenya Certificate of Primary Education – there emerged some disturbing news of some parents who beat their teenage daughter to death for failing in her exams. Seriously! You kill your own child because of an exam! How atrocious can someone be! And you know parents are the ones expected to be at the forefront when it comes to motivating their children since they understand them better than anyone else. Parents know both the strengths and weaknesses of their children. If only those parents didn’t have cow dung for a brain, then they would’ve known it was their responsibility to ensure their daughter was well prepared to sit that examination. For eight or so years that they had been educating their girl, they want to say didn’t know her potential. If all along Someone was a D student, how then can you expect them to turn out with an A in a final exam?
It was wrong for those parents to punish their daughter, let alone kill her. As a parent, your job is to encourage your child to maybe repeat the class and work hard so they’re well prepared to sit the exam next time. Failing an exam is not a death sentence. How many notable scholars do we have today that failed in crucial exams at various stages of their academic life?
Earlier this month, Elias, my brother in law’s younger brother finally travelled to Qatar to go and start afresh his life. It was a second chance given to him by God through his elder brother after a myriad of misfortunes: losing his job and for years looking for another without success, then his wife left him together with their two kids and married another man.
Elias had given up and was almost suicidal, talking of taking his life so that his family would be happy. He thought of himself as the black sheep of the family. All of his siblings, including younger ones had their lives moving smoothly except for him, and everywhere he went they only saw him as a burden. Eventually after much suffering, his elder brother who had been working abroad returned to the country and took him in and started the long process of cleaning him and helping him apply for jobs with foreign agencies. At long last after a number of disappointments he finally got called and as I’m writing this, Elias is in Qatar – might even watch the coming world cup – hoping to turn around his life.
When everyone had given up on Elias and saw him as a burden, there was someone – his brother – who believed in him and thought he could still be useful to the family and society in general. He had some contacts, and why not use them to help his brother.
And that’s why I think we all need someone to believe in us. I need someone to believe in me as a writer. I need someone to believe in me as a man and count on me to make wise decisions in life. You out there reading this, don’t give up that easily on people you care about and someone else will believe in you as well. When people believe in you, you will always be assured of a second chance in life. Never forget that.