Famed American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in a 1932 essay, “My Lost City,” that “I once thought that there were no second acts in American lives, but there was certainly to be a second act to New York’s boom days.”
The line exposed the resilience of the great city following a period of poor decisions and adverse externalities. Fitzgerald’s novels, including the literay classic “The Great Gatsby,” often wrestled with the notion of redemption. Unlike Gatsby, New York would rise again.
Recently, pundits have debated the entry of one-time political highflier Carl Brizzi into an already crowded local congressional primary battle (note, Brizzi is a reader and well-known to this columnist). To some, his peccadillos, while arguably unsubstantiated, have come to cause doubt in his prudence. Examination is warranted.
Still, are we best defined by what we have been; or better, should we be measured by what we have the potential to become? Divorced? Failed business? Less than stellar fourth-grade student? When, if ever, are we fully defined? When can we no longer expect the dawn to follow the night? In a world of ubiquitous social media spouting, do our failures become indelible stains on our lives? Or, are they simply the hardship that frames and molds us along the way? How are we judged as a human in full?
The voters will decide if Brizzi gets a second act. But, who decides about us?