Karla’s Korner: Giving a Second Chance
Giving a Second Chance..
I met him a few weeks before Christmas and it was love at first sight. He’s short, stocky with big brown eyes and a crooked little “grin”. He’s feisty, a little pushy, impatient, head strong, growls often and dribbles when he drinks water. His name is Louis and he is the one year old bulldog puppy of my daughter’s girlfriend Ashley. Born with a cleft palate Louis has endured two surgeries to help correct his physical imperfection; after meeting him I believe it’s the imperfection that makes him even more endearing. According to most Louis’ physical defect made him undesirable, less than perfect, un-adoptable. As a matter of fact most puppies born with imperfections like his would be eliminated; unless someone looked beyond the imperfections and gave them a second chance. Ashley saw through the obvious imperfections, took a chance and brought Louis home with her and Lola; his 1 year old adopted bulldog sister. Together, Lola and Louis make an unstoppable team greeting visitors to their home making them feel welcomed and loved; and a little wet with sloppy kisses. They play hard, sleep hard and enjoy late night and early morning snuggles with their humans. Second chances brought about a lot of love to this family.
Comedian, humanitarian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres was recently honored by The People’s Choice Awards for her charity work as well as her talk show. In her acceptance speech DeGeneres encouraged everyone to be kind to one another; love is in all of us we just need to use it. Thinking about Louis and the second chance he was given I wonder what life would be like if we all looked beyond the imperfections in others and gave more second chances. What would happen if instead of being prepared to overlook what society deemed as secondary or less than desirable we took the time to be open and more accepting of others. Whether it’s her work in hurricane ridden areas or helping those who are less fortunate get an education, a job, own a home or many other opportunities, Ellen looks beyond her privileges and offers second chances to those who need them. She sees people as people and loves without condition; a lesson well worth learning.
Life has become so full of distractions that we forget to look up, pay attention to our surroundings which in turn causes us to miss out on opportunities to make a difference; give a second chance. Understanding that it is impossible to help everyone financially or in big ways it is possible to make a difference a little at a time. If each one of us made a difference in someone’s life each day think of how many people would benefit. Take a seat and people watch somewhere like the mall and note how many people are walking with their heads down looking at their phones. They are missing out on the world around them because they are not paying attention. The opportunity to give a second chance, even with a kind smile to someone is everywhere but we are too busy, too self-absorbed to notice. Being as guilty as the next person, it is a challenge sometimes to turn off our technology and be present in the present, however, it is important that we take time to make time and make a difference.
Everyone has the opportunity to do great things, even if those great things are done in small ways. If you can’t afford to give someone money for food, go serve food in a soup kitchen or shelter. Giving of your time is just as important as giving of your money. Often it’s the time taken to help someone that leaves a longer lasting impression because it lets the receiver know that they are important. I encourage you to look beyond yourself, look out into the world around you and give someone a second chance. Offer hope to someone who may feel hopeless. Share your time with someone for no other reason than it’s just the right thing to do. Stepping out of your comfort zone will become a greater blessing than you will ever imagine; by doing so you will become an example for others to follow. Looking beyond imperfections whether physical, social or economic will allow you to see beauty like never before. Staring at a recent picture of sweet Louis, my heart smiles a bit knowing that his second chance not only gave him a great life with a great family, but his presence makes my life a bit sweeter. He is an example of what happens when we open our hearts to others out of human love not obligation. Make a difference; give a second chance. As Ellen DeGeneres says “be kind to one another…” Always.
I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
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