I have lost count of the number of times that I have heard the saying “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” What about, three, four, or five times? Because that is where I reside. I live there. I have given people the benefit of the doubt, time and time again. Even those unsavory characters who didn’t deserve it, because I thought maybe they will surprise me.
Generally speaking, they never do, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Each time, I admit that it hurts, it hurts in my chest. I know I should be a bit used to it by now, a bit hardened by circumstance, but I’m not. I guess I subscribe to the notion that a person must love big. Subsequently, as would be expected, I am all heart on my sleeve. “Why do you even talk to him anymore?”, “If someone acted the way she did to me, I wouldn’t have anything to do with her.” These are just a few of the things friends and family have said to me with respect to one person or another. It seems I allow people to walk all over me. I’m a doormat apparently. When I step back and look at myself, I know I am not perfect, not even close. I have done things I am not proud of. We all have I daresay.
In a very real sense I think my ability and willingness to readily forgive someone of their misdeeds against me stems from that. I want to believe that people are basically good; that their transgressions are “bad behavior” rather then indicative of them being a “bad” person. I am chided and scolded for my naivety in giving people chance after chance. I can not help it. I want there to be an explanation, however implausible. It is me? Am I the only one who behaves in this manner? Perhaps it is just a deep desire to believe that people in general would not, could not, possibly treat someone (in this case, me) with such utter disregard.
Are people that cold? Are they really so devoid of feeling that they completely lack any sort of empathy or sympathy for others? I find that idea very distressing and if I’m being truthful, a bit heart crushing. It makes me sad. So call me foolish or out of touch, or whatever you like…but I find that my rose colored glasses allow me to hold on to the few vestiges of possibility that my heart can muster and perhaps a little hope too. That, to me, is at the very least, the beginnings of an uplifting thought.