Wednesday, July 18, 2012

When people owe you money

This is probably one of the most annoying situations to be in. You lend someone money and hope they
" remember " to pay you on the agreed date. And when that date comes, you don't want to be the one to remind them. Nah, that would be uncomfortable. You wait.
The date comes and goes and they seemed to have disappeared, literally. You wait another week. Then it gets really unsettling.

You try calling that person and guess what?

They keep avoiding your calls. When you finally get them, they seem distant or they're very cold to you. You're now the enemy.
What did I do? I lent YOU money! Don't you know the sacrifices I made to get that money to you?
And even worse, they go around telling other people what are. But they're not going to say they borrowed money and didn't pay back. So you're in black books all over the place and it's not your fault. Sometimes you never know who's now looking differently at you.

I remember a lady who lent $500 to her hairdresser or manicurist or something of the sort. She didn't have it so she went to her parents to borrow it for the hairdresser. That was an enormous sacrifice I tell you. The speech she got before she could get that money. Some of us can't tell anyone else we lent this money. It might end up in divorce!
Back to the story: she happily lent this money to her friend who became extremely elusive after the agreed date of repayment. She became very hostile when my friend finally got her on the phone. Many promises to repay.To this date, she has not paid back the money.
The Lady? She paid her parents the money out of her own pocket to avoid another lecture and the consternation. 
The above was a one-time loan. But what of those who literally depend on you? Always borrowing and could never pay back. There is always a time when you get completely fed up and put an end to it.  
Where do these people come from? 
The simple answer is, nobody knows. 
So when you lend money, be prepared not to get it back. Lend only what you know you could afford to lose.

But there's something we all don't look at. And I think we should.
Did you ever borrow money? It's demoralising. How easy do you really think it is going to someone vulnerable and alone asking that person to lend you money? You're very confident you're going to pay it back. That's OK. Truth is, you pay it back on time and with a smile and a promise to yourself NEVER to borrow again. 
The person didn't really bother you for it. But you had to put in an extra effort to pay back that loan. So you know of the sacrifices it takes to repay a sum of money. But you've done it, right? So why should others not repay you?

I remember a friend of mine who  very rarely to borrows money. But if she does, NEVER defaults on a payment. She's great with that. But I often stop to wonder how humiliating it is for someone to have to come to  another to pay the bills. 
Another colleague - a man who prides himself on his ability to see after his own needs, even in the most difficult of circumstances -  asked his friend  for money. I promised I'd give it to him. Took me forever, but I finally did, with many apologies for the delay.

What the...? That's my money right? He gets it when I can give it. What am I apologising for? The fact is, I made a promise and didn't do it on time. That person may have languished or had to give up some necessary thing because I couldn't deliver a promised sum on time. So yeah, I said sorry.

You ask these questions because you've never been humiliated like this before. Imagine what it takes to come to another man to say you're in need. It's crushing. 

As for repayment? They're BROKE. That's why they came to you in the first place. KNOW that you're investing in a sinkhole and don't beat yourself up about it when it does not come back.

Sometimes people have the genuine intention to repay you, but things always have a way of getting IN YOUR WAY and leaving you even worse. I think, just like us, some people don't wan't to contact you until they can come to you, with pride, to say " here's you money in full. " 

Solution? If one of your friends wants money borrowed, GIVE it to them. Hell, it's your friend. Lend them if you wish but don't let them know you've already made up your mind it's gone. They might actually pay you back. If they can't, don't make a fuss. 

If you cannot afford the loss, let them know this and stand your ground, in this case, don't lend or give anything.

Hard? Yup. It's never an easy task. 

Never be too hard on people no matter what the circumstances. We all have to go through some really awful moments when that time comes. We would certainly want to be treated with courtesy and love. 

You see, once  we hold on to that grievance, we cannot be free to love them. They might not be good for money, but they might just be the the most loyal friend you've had.

We must not block the divine flow of love that is always coming to us. 

"Forgive us our debts as we forgive those indebted to us"

Let it go. It's the only way.

And borrowers, for God's sake, pay up what you owe. Do what you must, but someone has gone out on a limb for you.Don't betray that.