This week two friends of mine faced some difficult situations in their lives. Each of them had made a series of poor choices and eventually the consequences caught up to them. One of them is facing some financial challenges as result of his behavior. I really don't know how he is going to get out of the situation. It is way beyond any meager help I could give him. The other friend is not going to be able to achieve one of his goals in life as a result of his choices. I am hopeful that he can still work something out, but in the end, it will be up to him to decide just how hard he wants to work at it. And if his past efforts are any indication of his future endeavors, he might not even bother to try.
It is painful to watch them each go through these experiences because they are both really great guys. They have so many positive points about them and have accomplished much in their lives. But like all of us, they each have their particular weaknesses and those weaknesses caused them to make the poor choices they made. In each case they had friends and family that warned them what would happen if they continued down the road they were headed, but somehow they thought it would all work out in the end. But it didn't work out the way they had hoped and now they have to pay the price.
While some people might stand in judgment of them since at the deepest level it really is the result of their own actions, the situation causes me to reflect on my own life instead of judge them for theirs. The situation has caused me to ask: What blind spots do I have that I think I can just keep ignoring? When will those blind spots emerge some day and force me to change? Are people in my life trying to warn me right now about those areas and am I listening?
When we see others go through difficult experiences as a result of their poor choices, we should take it as a warning sign in our own lives. We should look in the mirror and ask what we can learn from their mistakes. That will help our life be better and will keep us from judging others just when they need us most.