By Chithru De Silva
It is simply awful to realize that we live in a society where borrowing something from someone is not considered as a big responsibility. “Can I borrow that pen? Oh my god, those shoes are so gorgeous and it fits me, so can I borrow it for a few days? I’m going to borrow that DVD, Dude I’m broke, and can you lend me some cash? *gasp* I want that book now!” And so on. These are few of the comments we tend to come across daily.
Most of the kind hearted and generous one’s lend them without thinking twice and unfortunately many do not seem to comprehend the fact that,
1. No it wasn’t a gift.
2. You have to give it back because it does not belong to you.
Days, months and years do pass but no sign of getting it back and when you do finally gather up the nerve to ask for it, the snobbish response you receive it. “What book? You gave me money?” By any chance when they do finally return it, whatever you lent looks as if it was a victim of the atomic bomb that was unleashed in 1945. Just dreadful!
Being a part of the human life style
Borrowing and lending has been a part of the human life style ever since the beginning of mankind. Varying from pots and pans to clothes, people simply tend to borrow and many without hesitation lend things with full faith and trust of receiving it back. But our civilized citizens merely ‘forget’ or keeps it as a ‘gift’ because it is so well liked. Indeed for many of us it comes to a point where we find it difficult to go ask for it. You rather wait till that person remembers and shows up on your door step (once in a blue moon occurrence, of course) or might as well end up buying a new one (which is NOT approved).
Few months back I happily lent a book to a friend with a promise that she will take good care of it. I received it back few days ago with pages missing, torn and simply butchered. When I asked her how such a clean cut book ended up in such a miserable status, her reply was “Oh! I gave it to few other people and they clearly didn’t take good care of it.” To make matters worse she added “Sorry, you’ll find cobwebs on that because it was under my bed.” Seriously?
Nonetheless my point is that, so many of us don’t realize that if you do borrow anything from anyone, you are bound to return it back. Do not assume that everyone is comfortable loaning something to you. They might give it because of the level of friendship you have with each other and because they happen to have immense trust on you. It is your duty to take extra-good care and return the item in a timely manner. But I guess taking good care of things is too main stream these days.
This point is especially dedicated to the boys. (And some of the girls out there) Sure, go ahead and borrow a pen but you are suppose to write from it, ‘not’ eat it. It is an object invented for the great cause of writing. If you are dying from starvation, eating a pen is clearly not an option. And also try your best to return it in one piece.
Volunteering in lending
I respect all of you who volunteer to lend things but if you do not wish to do so, you could always say no. I do understand that many of us do find it impossible to say no especially when a good friend asks to borrow something, like your favourite book, t-shirt, cash and so on. Well the thing is if they are not capable of looking after it as if it’s their own or returning it, you have every right to refuse. If it had been so important and valuable to you, you should not give it, in the first place. If you do end up feeling bad, do give a pat on your shoulder and keep reminding yourself how miserable you will be without it. That guilty feeling will just disappear.
Do not forget that some of us do truly forget (it is not an excuse though). Therefore don’t be too harsh but do inquire about the item. Here are few things you could try out before lending something.
- Be upfront when you loan things in the future and make sure to give a deadline.
- There is no harm saying “Yes you can have it but I do need it back before next week”.
- Put your name on the item before lending it. Especially if it’s a book, DVD or a pen. It ends up been handy.
- If you lend things make sure you give it to someone who knows the value of it.
- Also if you are lending a book, give a bookmark. Trust me it will reduce the amount of damage that will bestow upon the book.
Some of us do get to a point where we do desperately need to borrow something. If you do keep the trust and do politely ask for the item you will receive it. If you do accidently damage it, make sure that you try your best to replace it or at least genuinely apologize and do take action not to repeat it. Simply do not blurt out saying oh I returned it long time ago when you clearly did not. Just keep in your head that the definition of the word borrow does not mean “Can keep forever.”