But some things change or reach an explosive head which is unfortunately predictable with some degree of accuracy. People go on and on… and on… with their dysfunctional, dangerous behaviors taking risks that eventually bring them to unfortunate and unwelcome consequences.
So yes, life can change fast. Sort of.
It can change fast for those who had nothing to do with the other person's risky and foolish behavior. Like the person who makes the decision to drive drunk and kills another driver in an auto accident. While one person made the choice to get in that car drugged up or intoxicated, another was just leaving work to go home to his wife and children… but never made it.
Which one here is really the victim?
I've heard people "down on their luck" talk so much about being victims that it's making me numb. So many just continue the same behaviors that will only lead to the same dead-end results. I see them unwilling to work. Continuing to make ridiculous choices. So many have this illogical sense of entitlement or arrogance thinking that some jobs are beneath them but they have criminal records (all undeserved and unfair they believe) that keep them from getting other jobs. They're unwilling to just work hard, stick to it, don't give up… and work their way back up the ladder.
Choices. Consequences. There is a natural correlation. The two are related.
The frustrating thing about loving someone who is always the "victim" is that they just don't get it. And there isn't anything you can do to help them if they don't get it.
Where then is your responsibility when you care about someone like this? Someone who continues to hurt their own self and spreads it outward to those who love them and … to the innocents?
I wish I knew.
I had a strong thought last evening about the F-word in my life. FEAR. It has at time rendered me paralyzed with bone-deep weariness. Totally captivating me. Binding and controlling me with chords I could not break free of. But that will be my fight. My persistent enemy is Fear but it will not cause me to become useless or to retreat. True there is much I am not in control of but I will remember to lean into the One who is the Prince of Peace. I will love and help where I can and let go to let others fight the battles that they have seemingly so persistently chosen for themselves.
I can't take away the consequences of others wrong choices as much as I might like to… but I have some say as to how I react to it… as sad as it might be.
People like to say that it is all about the family. But lots of people do not have rich networks of hilarious uncles and adorable cousins, who all live nearby, to help them. Many people have truly awful families: insane, abusive, repressive. So we work hard, we enjoy life as we can, we endure. We try to help ourselves and one another. We try to be more present and less petty. Some days go better than others. We look for solace in nature and art and maybe, if we are lucky, the quiet satisfaction of our homes. Is solace meaning? I don't know. But it's pretty close.
-Anne Lamott from Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair