The concept of ‘second breakfast’ comes, for me, out of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I’ve got a fresh take on it.
Breakfast satisfies our physical hunger. The type of breakfast I’m suggesting sates the spiritual and emotional hunger so far as our relationships are concerned.
How often are we disappointed by the repeated indiscretions of those offending us? Or more simply put, as far as it relates to us offending others, how many second chances do we deserve in correcting the offending behaviour?
I don’t know about you but I’ve frequently been party to the ole ‘foot-in-mouth’ syndrome. I’ve said inappropriate things at inappropriate times in inappropriate ways. And others do this with us.
Only recently a person where I work courteously remarked to a woman about her marriage—no harm intended—and then went on his cheery way, thinking he’d done his friendly deed for the day. The woman was visibly chopped up about it. She took time off to recover her bearings.
People are Flawed – We are Flawed
People are people... flawed and magnanimously unaware we all are at times. What can we really learn about the nature of people; indeed, our nature?
We should grow accustomed to having the patience with others so far as their transgressions with us are concerned—as much as we’d like to have this patience extended to ourselves.
Second breakfast in this context is the second chance at being satisfied as to the level of social recompense sought or offered. It’s a beautifully imbued grace that promotes trust and therefore freedom and a lack of fear regarding the consequences of negative behaviour.
In this way the stilted pressure is removed from our interactions. Trust is generously implied.
I’m Not Full Yet...
Second breakfast is a second helping at things. I used to joke when I made a faux pas—which was my way of getting myself off the hook and to invite the grace of the offended one: “Take me anywhere twice; second time to apologise...” and it’s true.
We need to forgive and we need forgiveness. We need to have short memories.
Two Ways – the ‘Try Way’ or the ‘Highway’
It is far better in life to choose between two quite polar destinations of choice—to forgive or to sever. Where people relate with me and they are honestly sorry for whatever they do that might hurt me, it is my obligation to forgive—God’s will allows no choice on that one.
However, I recently had interactions with a person who became abusive and was totally unrepentant. In these situations we have no malice as we sever the relationship, conditional on repentance (if we can—certainly if these types of rapport exist in family that makes things harder). Wishing people the best and even praying for them in this process is appropriate. Why would I get chewed up over this? This other person had the problem.
Second breakfast: it’s the politics of the Second Chance. And as we know this principle is based equally on the sixty-second chance—so far as mistakes are concerned.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.