The collapse of a building in the suburbs of Washington DC was caught on a home security camera. The video shows how suddenly the structure buckled and fell just missing two people walking by. Miraculously no one was injured including construction workers inside the building at the time. Ironically all this happened as firefighters in a ladder truck were returning to their station a block from the scene. 

The cause of a collapse like this is often linked to a foundational weakness that compromised the structure and integrity of the building. Some may possibly blame construction workers for not properly reinforcing buildings during a renovation. While this may sometimes be the case, one cannot overlook how often needed repairs were necessary because structural and foundational failure was already evident.

Foundational problems exist in unseen places beyond our homes and buildings in our communities. Issues like these are found in how you and I build our lives. From time to time the foundational mindsets that shape us fail. You and I, as well as people we know and love, experience a breakdown and collapse.

Three important lessons should be learned to help us prepare for the unexpected times when foundations fall.

First, we must take personal responsibility for the collapse. Like a building owner, we cannot be quick to blame the construction crew we hired to repair our building. We ignored the bedrock attitudes of our lives and how our thinking shaped us. Rather than develop healthy thought patterns, we continued with our carefree and sometimes reckless habits. We chose to overlook the warning signs of weaknesses within to enjoy the pleasure of the moment. 

For you and me to enjoy an abundant, happy life we must be responsible for the present condition of our lives and do the necessary work to change our way of thinking.

Second, a personal collapse always impacts the lives of others. The story of the building collapse in Washington DC would have been very different if those walking by had been delayed by just a few seconds—injury and even death could have been the tragic outcome of being hit by the falling bricks. 

We do not live our lives in isolation from others. Our family and friends, even acquaintances, will in one way or another experience the painful fallout caused by our collapse. Sometimes the foundational breakdown of one person may result in a domino effect to bring about the fall of others.

When you and I address the bedrock attitudes of our lives, it not only transforms our thinking but will protect the people we know and love from harm.

Third, first responders, like the firemen in DC, will not just happen to be there to help us if we experience a collapse—no one will ever be that lucky. Depending upon the severity of the failure our ability to reach out for help could be hindered—we might feel like we are trapped in the dark and completely cut off from others. 

This is why we need to build a support network of family and friends now. We need people in our lives who we can trust—mentors with a firm foundation who can speak into our lives and reveal weaknesses we might have overlooked. We need to develop relationships and let people get close enough so they will notice the signs of a potential downfall. And should a crisis happen we have people nearby who can reach out to us with the helping hand we need.

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