Against My Better Judgment

Many of the things I present and comment on in my weekly column are issues and topics that the common person who reads it can easily identify with – things that they have experienced or will be confronted with in the future. Today’s topic is an example of what I am saying. Arguably, everyone has done things that they later regretted having done (like I have done far too many times in my life). They made decisions and went against their better judgment. I want to illustrate and briefly comment on some common things that we do against our better judgment.

Lending Money to People Who Are Not Credible
Ouch! I started this section the way I did because I have been burned by people I should have not trusted. I went against my better judgment and paid the price. To my shame and loss, the price has amounted to quite a few thousand dollars in one particular case. Then there is the greater loss of friendship when you loan money to relatives and friends who will not honor their word to repay you. When people do not repay relatives and friends the money they borrowed, the relationship and closeness they once shared will suffer almost irreparable damage. I have learned the hard way that when you can not afford to give non-credible people money that they may stand in need of, do not lend it to them.
Co-signing for People
Ouch, again! I have experienced and learned the hard way the error of co-signing for people to get things like cars or houses. I made the mistake of not listening to my personal banker at the time, Mr. David Baxley. He told me in his straightforward way, “Rev., I know both of them.” The people who I was intending to co-sign for were two brothers who Mr. Baxley had dealt with personally. However, I ignored Mr. Baxley’s advice to me about co-signing for these men (who at the time were members of our church). It did not take long for Mr. Baxley’s prudent advice about these non-credible men with bad credit to come to fruition. They may have been on time for three months in paying the monthly note on the loans I co-signed for. Then it happened… Both of these men started getting late on their monthly notes and eventually stopped paying at all. I had to pay off the balance on both loans to keep my credit from going bad. My advice to those who consult me about whether they should co-sign for people is no! Although some who are people of integrity will do right, regrettably, there are far too many who do not value their credit or yours. So, in order to protect your credit and good name, it would be wise for you to not co-sign for anyone.

Recommending People
for Jobs or Tenancy
Like in the other categories, I have gone against my better judgment in regard to recommending certain people for jobs or to rent someone’s house. Unlike in the previous category (where I have had to altogether suspend the practice of co-signing for people to get a loan), there are certain people who are of good repute that I can highly recommend for a job (they have the credentials and skills to occupy). Likewise, there are people who have a record of being good tenants who pay their rent on time, as well as keeping their dwelling in good shape. Regrettably, I have made the mistake in both categories to recommend people who did not meet the standards, I knew they should have had to get my endorsement. In most situations, these high-risk people who I tried to help (against my better judgment) let me down and weakened my ability to recommend others in both categories. From that time forward, I do not recommend people who are high-risk in the area of being tenants or employees.

Common Areas Where
We Go Against Our Better Judgment
In this final section of my column, I am going to only allude to some of the areas where many (including myself) have gone against their better judgment. It is common to hear of people who went against their better judgment and used shade tree mechanics to work on their cars. Many have regretted and paid the cost for relying on such untrained and amateur mechanics who lacked both the skill and mechanical apparatus to get the job done. Then there are some who tried to go the cheap route in using jackleg carpenters to renovate or add an addition to their homes. Having been born and trained into a family of bricklayers, carpenters, and contractors, I have acquired some practical experience and knowledge in the building and construction field. Consequently, many will seek me out in their search for credible builders and contractors. Without defaming any, I have endeavored to steer them in the right direction. Many have suffered great loss in various aspects of their lives, and some have been killed in car accidents and through other means, due to their refusal to heed the warning of their better judgment.
At the end of the day, we all would do well to start heeding the voice of our better judgment.