As I look back over my life, I can remember talking too much in an elementary school class.
After being disciplined and accepting my punishment, I was given a second chance. One day, when I was in junior high school, I was late to class. I walked all the way from my place of living, Eaton Park, to school after my parents' car broke down. The one minute of tardiness did not go unnoticed. I was immediately assigned a detention after school, but the next day I was given a second chance.
High school served as an opportunity to learn about second chances. When I talked back to my science teacher, I was punished for my actions. I was also given a second chance to continue actively participating in my academic career and athletics.
Today, our youth are constantly bombarded with mounting challenges ranging from poverty, hunger, social injustices, single-parent homes and much more. Too often these challenges impact young adults and adults' behavior. Moreover, these concerns can translate into harsh punishments many adults are faced with for years.
It is my strong belief that everyone, including leaders on this local level and leaders of America, has had their fair share of challenges that presented a need for a second chance.
Amendment 4, which would allow for the restoration of voting rights for nonviolent felons, is an opportunity for not only Florida citizens to be given a second chance and contribute to the free-world economy, but also allows our fellow men and women who paid their debt to society to regain their right to vote.
Let’s be truthful, if no one on this earth was given second chance, we would not have a functioning society.
Let’s vote for Amendment 4 on Nov. 6. If God is the God of second chances, let’s give our fellow men and women a second chance.
Dr. Shandale Terrell is a community activist, educator and member of the Lakeland Branch NAACP.