How One Generous Act Can Change the Course of a Life. #2ndChances

The Twitter party was all about the Women’s Prison Association and Orange is the New Black, the Netflix series inspired by the book of the same name by author and former inmate, Piper Kerman. We discussed the poor conditions that prisoners face, and the cost of imprisonment (which, by the way is higher than alternatives with better reform programs). We talked about the show and the stand out characters, as well as the amazing performances by the actors portraying them, but it was the Twitter party’s hashtag that really captured what the conversation was about, #2ndChances.

We’ve all been given a second chance at some point in our lives in one form or another. Second chances can come in many forms, and in many sizes. They happen all the time, every day, everywhere. Some second chances just stand out more than others, as cross roads, a turning point, a small moment in time that makes all the difference on the direction your life will take.

16 years ago, I found myself living in a motel with my husband and 2 young daughters. I had been at my new temp job for 3 days when I got a call from my husband that our car was being repossessed. Apparently, the person that made the payment arrangement with me wasn’t authorized to do so, and the car was being towed away. I tried my best to stay calm so my new boss wouldn’t know anything was wrong, but it didn’t work. He had heard the conversation, and wanted to speak to me as soon as I got off the phone. I had just started this job, and now I was going to lose it! How would I ever get another job without a car?! How would I pay for the motel? How would I pay for food? It was winter in Maine, how would we survive?

 All these thoughts and more ran through my head as my new boss began to talk to me.

I was so embarrassed.

He had heard the conversation. He was very concerned. He wanted to help.

Wait. What?!

Yes. He wanted to help. He wanted to let me borrow the money to get my car back or to get a new one, but first, he had to make me a permanent employee. He had to buy out my contract from the temp agency.

I couldn’t believe it! This person barely knew me, and not only was he letting me keep my job and borrow $2000, but he was also paying extra to make me a permanent employee!

This was my second chance moment. Without this moment, things could have gone very wrong for me and my family. We were already homeless, and now we didn’t even have a car. What we owned fit into only a few trash bags.  We had no family or friends to help. We had nothing. This was our rock bottom! Had my boss not stuck his hand out to help me, I don’t know where we would have ended up.  I do know that I would have done anything for my family, and that may have meant making some bad decisions with some bad consequences.

Thankfully for me, I never had to find out to what lengths I would go to survive. I was given a second chance, and I made the most of it. Too many others are still waiting on their second chance.

disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I'm in no way connected to the WPA, Netflix, or Orange Is the New Black. All opinions expressed are my own. All Posts may contain affiliate links.

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