I was reminded of a student of mine a few years ago who told me his marriage had fallen apart and he had lost his job and decided that it was time to try again.
"That is the American way. The opportunity to have a second chance over and over again," Big E. said to me.
The commemoration of the 1976 Soweto Riots on Wednesday made me remember that the American way offered me a second chance denied by the land of my birth.
I admire the sincere space for a second chance in the American way. That spirit of never say die, ever.
And so it must be for El Debarge and his second chance at remaking himself. He must know there are no guarantees.
South African society can learn a lot from this spirit. We make a lot about being forgiving and reconciling but it is known to just about everyone that we are stuck in judgement and too quick to assign blame and permanent degradation.
Being human means you are never right the first time or the second or the other second time.
I like the humane sincerity of allowing folks to try again. And again.
"... If you listen there's a melody in how you live your life
You can write the song you want to hear ..."