Would you give a person a second chance and/or forgive?

This question popped up in my mind today as I thought about many different crimes committed in the society today.

A lot of people are affected by one person's "act of rage" or "mistake" and they come in different categories.

For example the person who after a drunken night out attacks an innocent bystander. Think of it, not only is the family of the victim affected, but also the family of the perpetrator.

Time and time again I have heard instances where the perpetrators says they cannot remember what happened and that they are really sorry about the offence they commited.

There are some factors to consider here:-

If the attack involved the police, then the perpetrator would have to face the consequences of the attack. He or she would have to face the law and receive whatever punishment the law lays down.

In most cases, the law will not be able to give a "second chance", by saying go home and do not commit this offence again. Having said that, there are some instances where the judge would take into consideration the previous good character of a person and allow them off on a slightly lower punishment/sentence.

Going back to the family of the perpetrator, if this is something they are used to seeing i.e. getting drunk and doing stupid things, then there might come a time when they run out of giving second, third, fourth or even more chances. The family would expect the perpetrator to express genuine remorse by either desisting from such activities or by seeking professional help.

It is much more easier for the family of the perpetrator to offer second chances and forgiveness. There is this saying that "blood is thicker than water". No matter how many times your son or daughter does something wrong or bad, you would almost always find it in your heart to forgive.

For the family of the victim however, this is a different matter. A member of their family has been harmed by a complete stranger and the last thing on their mind is to stretch their hands out to shake the perpetrator and say we forgive you.

What would be paramount on their minds is to see that the victim is well and will be okay.

What about the victim - would he or she be prepared to forget what happened and move on or would they insist that justice be served?

It is very easy for people not affected by the whole incident to say they would either forgive or not forgive, but the reality is that most people would not know what they would do until they find themselves in similar situations.

So I ask this question again, would you be able to offer a person a second chance or forgive?