Does everyone deserve a second chance?
Tomorrow (Sunday, 6 September), I will participate in the inaugural Yellow Ribbon Run 2009. This run serves to raise funds for ex-offenders. This run offers participants an opportunity to run through the Changi Prison Complex while passing through historical sites such as the Johore Battery, Changi Chapel Museum and Old Changi Prison Wall. It finishes off at the new Changi Prison Complex, where participants will be able to see the development of a new generation prison designed to cater to the security and rehabilitation needs of the prisoners.
This year, the Singapore ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM 115) will participate, with the provision of entertainment by way of about 20 magicians and balloon-sculptors. All of them volunteered themselves, for they collectively believe in the cause.
It can be very disheartening and challenging to seek jobs once your past has been revealed. As a former-convict, the second chance can still be a second prison. Society can be quite cold towards citizens with a record of crime. There is a sense of distrust over them, so hiring them can be a cautious process for employers. It is what it is.
When would you forgive somebody? When will you not? Which personal values do you live by that expresses your sense of forgiveness? When someone close to you betrays your trust, how open-minded and open hearted will you be to forgive him/her? Can you forgive your trespassers?
Those with medical conditions, and have benefitted from an organ-donor, or remission from cancer – they, too, have been given a second chance. How do they value their lives? Lance Armstrong battled cancer to win seven, consecutive Tour De France titles.
At 7.30am, I will join a few thousand runners at the start-line! Hopefully, this symbolizes a starting-point for many others.