Tag Archives: friends

Second Chances

by Gail Mooney
July 2 2012

I ran into someone over the weekend who I had not seen in many years.  We had been good friends, but we had drifted apart, over some disagreements, that neither of us could even remember. I’m sure those disagreements seemed important at the time, but now they just seemed trivial.  We both realized that we had let our egos get in the way of our friendship and instead of trying to heal the hurts that had severed our friendship – we put more angst, anger and sadness in its place.

I started thinking about the kids that I met at the Oasis Youth Network

Sir Richard Branson making breakfast sandwiches at the Oasis Youth Network, Sydney, Australia

in Sydney, Australia, when Erin and I were there, shooting this segment of Opening Our Eyes.  One young man was telling his story of growing up in a broken home, with parents who were drug addicts and gamblers.  He talked about stealing money for his lunch when he was a kid, and never having clean clothes to wear to school.  He talked about getting into a life of drugs and crime and eventually being sent to jail, away from his children and everything that was good in his life.  And then he talked about how Oasis had given him his life back and how Paul Moulds in particular had given him a “second chance”.

When we interviewed Paul Moulds for our film, he made a comment that still resonates with me to this day, almost two years later.  In talking about kids who grew up in homes like the one this young man described, or worse yet, kids who were homeless and trying to scrape out some kind of life on the streets, he said:  “we try to help these young people by training them and finding them a job – but who is going to be willing to hire them when they have no address, no education and no record of employment?” He went on to say that no matter, how much pain some of these kids had grown up with or how many wrong decisions they had made in their lives, that he still believed in giving them second chances.  I remember thinking at the time that the world needed more people like Paul – people who believed in giving others, a second chance.

We all say and do stupid things in our lives and in the process, we end up hurting ourselves and the people we truly care about.  We’ve given into our “precious egos” when we behave like that.  Ultimately, many of us come to realize that we only bring more pain in our lives, by continuing to hold onto the hurts from the past, instead of letting go of our egos, and giving someone who may have done us wrong – a second chance.  I think sometimes in our efforts to protect ourselves from being hurt by others, we bring more pain to our lives by shutting the door on second chances.

Jackson Browne writes, “It seems easier sometimes to change the past”. Unfortunately, we can’t change the past, but we don’t need to keep holding onto it.  While it’s not easy to give someone a second chance, it feels so much better to leave the door open to possibilities. Imagine what the world would be like if we all thought like Paul Moulds, and thought that everyone deserves a second chance.

When You Think Nobody Cares

by Gail Mooney
June 19 2012

I had a friend who once told me that if he should die in his room – alone – he didn’t think anyone would even notice. At first, I thought – how sad – and then I thought that really wasn’t true at all. Everyone, even my friend has a past and with that comes people who know you or who used to know you – and on some level – there will be someone who cares.

Perhaps, what he meant was that people wouldn’t notice – but again, I would have to dispute that because it’s pretty easy with social media, emails and every other means of “instant” communication, to get people to notice you.

Getting noticed brings up an important point – and that is – when we do anything for the sake of recognition – and people don’t respond the way we had hoped – we sometimes feel that we have failed. But did we? If we did something purely for the sake of recognition and we don’t get it – then perhaps we did fail, but not necessarily. Most of the time, people who do take notice, simply don’t take the time to let you know.

I try not to fall into the trap of doing something purely for the sake of recognition because it’s a sure fire way to get myself in a funk if I don’t get the accolades I’m looking for. When I’m driven to do something simply because I feel I “have to”, that’s when the unsolicited recognition seems to come. Somehow, the things that resonate with people the most – are the very things that are generated from something that’s deep inside us. That’s when people “notice” – they don’t just “see it” – they “feel it”.

Life is too short to spend it seeking approval from others. My husband is quick to tell me “it’s none of your business what other people think of you”. He’s so right about that and it took me a long time to figure that out.

If you spend your life worrying about pleasing others, you may end up forgetting who you are. They say friends come and go. I’m not so sure about that. Even if someone isn’t present in your life anymore, they still exist in your past. They were meant to be there for some reason, even if they brought you pain, they were meant to play their part in your life. I think sometimes we stress too much about the negatives in life and somehow think the best way to live is to avoid things or people that make us  uncomfortable, but in doing so we end up bringing in the emptiness and loneliness we were afraid of.

When I started this project two years ago, I didn’t realize how many people out there really do care. That in itself was worth the journey.