filed in balderdash on Sep.10, 2009
Yes, I know it’s not a real word, but it should be. So many people seem to be afflicted with this – the fear of being in debt to someone, or of accepting someone’s charity or offer of help – these days; so much so that if it were lethal and communicable, the entire population of the planet would be wiped out in the amount of time it’ll take you to read this. One person I know is so horrified of being in debt to someone that he won’t even lend out a buck for a guy to get a snack from a vending machine. So I can’t help but ponder lately why this insidious, logic-sapping disease is so prevalent.
Is it merely a side effect of all our parents raising us to think that we need to be self-sufficient at all costs? I don’t think so. If that were the case, we wouldn’t need to have the welfare programs that we have in this country, and I don’t mean just the ones that help the poor. (Yes, people, unemployment benefits are welfare.)
Is it that people are afraid of what the person they’re in debt to expects in return? It’s a possibility, but I think in response, why should they be? So many offers of charity are made with absolutely nothing expected in return, especially if the parties involved are friends. And if the person lending a helping hand really expects something in return, what does the debtor expect to have to do? Dress in drag and do the hula? Perform acts appallingly revolting and degrading even to the most degenerate mind? Insane thinking.
People should not be afraid to take a helping hand being offered, unless it’s holding a stack of papers with a ridiculous amount of fine print. Refusing such can often result in you missing out on an opportunity to experience something that will benefit you in a positive way (and you’ll regret it later); or worse, have disastrous consequences on your very livelihood. Much like the President being able to admit when he’s wrong, taking help is a sign of strength, not of weakness. Goddess knows that I wouldn’t have made it through college going it alone; I needed those extra sets of notes, those e-mail conversations with my professors in order to make sense of it all.
Now, if only all that education and charity received could have yielded an actual word for what I’m talking about…