:: Taking Care of Others Part 2 ::
Despite a busy working day yesterday
I managed to correspond more with Bren,
As well as the friend who loaned him money.
My immediate concern was how B was spending
His money – was he having difficulties in managing
His day to day essential expenses, or was he overspending
On the ‘wants’ rather than the ‘needs’?
And while I believe in the intrinsic goodness of
Everyone, including B, how can I ascertain that the help
Was not abused – and that B was not in cahoots with
An accomplice – I had to be sure.
I knew that B was smoking, and was also
Riding a bike. But I would like to think of B as a sensible
Young adult who was giving in to easy temptations.
I asked for his friend’s (Derek) mobile number
And SMSed him. D replied that the loan was accumulated
Over the period of a number of months, and that
B was his good friend and a nice guy.
And that B was very concerned about his future
And how the world will judge him on his past.
I asked for D’s bank and account number.
I ended the episode with B by structuring a tradeoff with him -
I don’t believe in helping without a tradeoff – the contribution
Must also come from the subject, no matter how small it may be.
I asked B to give up smoking, and requested D to help check.
While repaying the initial loan to D, I proposed to B that
I match his monthly contribution of $300 by another $300 to
Repay the rest of the debts.
“Remember you lead your own life and create
Your own future. You work hard – you have a good life
In the future. You slack now – next time do hard labour.
It is all up to you. I’ve been through this road. You don’t have
Much time left to make errors… you’re no longer a kid.”
I wrote this to B. I realized I sounded like a naggy parent.
But it came out anyway. Because honestly, for each and
Every one of us, no matter how bad our family background
Or how messed up our lives could be, we all can
Make our lives better, if we choose, and have the resolve.
Trying is not good enough. We make it happen.