Victims of Circumstance or Something More?

Anyone who knows me knows I love a good documentary. I have always been a big fan of doc type shows like True Life (the only good show left on MTV) that let you peer into the life of someone else. Maybe it is because I am almost became a counselor or maybe it is because I just love to see how other people act in certain situations. Anyways, I came across a an episode of Dateline that particularly caught my attention. It was about a family living on the financial edge and their fight to keep the house they had lived in for years.

If you have not seen this, I put the video below so go take a looksie. The show profiles a normal, middle class family as they spent their way through the good times of the early 2000’s. This family bought fancy cars, shiny motorcycles, and even financed a lovely home with a swimming pool. Life was good then the Great Recession hit. Suddenly the father’s profitable business plummeted. They suddenly could not pay their bills including that of their hefty mortgage. Thats when the collection calls started while the family sunk deeper and deeper into debt. The toll of the situation took a heavy toll on the marriage. Then even more disaster struck as the father was involved in a brutal accident that left him bedridden and unable to work at all. Eventually, the family loses their house and the marriage dissolved with it.

Sounds crazy, right? It is videos like these that are my worst nightmare. They paint the story of a family being attacked on all sides and hit with forces they can’t control. Right? That truth is they also spent their way into oblivion and blew through their savings like it was monopoly money. This family could have done a million things differently but they didn’t. They chose the whole “keeping up with the Jones’s” type of lifestyle and sadly paid the price. Even so, I can’t help feel bad for these people. The number of unfortunate things that happened to these poor people seems almost supernatural.

This family is very indicative of many families who lost everything during recent times. Does it make it less sad if they helped themselves get to that point despite what happens next? Many people would think so. No matter what, it is at least a lesson for others to be careful with what hey spend and know that know one knows tomorrow.

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