16 May 2013
Generous to a Fault?
I don't understand myself. It seems that whenever one of my friends asks for financial help I don't say no. I don't know how many people I've loaned money to over the years. Some pay me back; most don't. One friend in particular is on a limited income and I think my heart goes out to him. He is very good about paying me back. There was another friend I fronted $500. Shortly thereafter we had a bit of a falling out. I asked for the money back and he told me he would "think about it." Six years later he offered to pay me back. I told him to donate it to his local AIDS-related charity.
So last night a friend - an ex boyfriend of sorts - contacted me via a bear social networking site saying he was in trouble and he hoped I could help him. At first I thought he might be in jail. As it turns out, he and his mom share an apartment and are two months behind in rent, mainly because she lives on social security and he has a menial job that hasn't been paying much. Before I talked to him I told myself to say no to giving him money. But then I talked to him and that soft spot in my heart for him took over and the next thing I know I'm sending him $400. He sounded disappointed when I told him that's what I could swing. In all honesty, I could have given him the entire $1200 but I know I won't get it back. And I know next month they'll be right back to where they are now.
Why am I like this? It's not that I expect anything in return, I don't. I am not convinced I even expect to get repaid. I'm not sure if it's because I've been blessed and I know there are people out there struggling and if it's a friend then how can I say no? But I afterwards I often ask myself "If you were in need of money, who among your friends would and could help you?" The sad answer is, not many. And certainly none of those I've loaned money to in the past.
So let me ask: Are you able to say No?
If so, what's your secret?