Opinion Piece By : Vincent Mathosse
I am not a fortune teller nor a palmistry yet allow me to tell you about what is likely to transpire this festive season. It starts with a peculiar yet warm greeting dressed in all the requisite cosmetics; smiles and laughter to set the mood for the big revelation. It hits when you least expect it.
That long lost relative that you last heard from this time of the year last summer will resurface to request financial assistance and it will probably be the last time you hear from them. Friends, family and colleagues will ‘lend’ money from you this summer and your empathetic nature will oblige. I hate to say this but…there is a possibility that they might not pay you back.
Welshers employ the Stalingrad strategy; they do not mention anything about a plan or how to pay you back until you decide to let it go. If you are like me, you are the type that is afraid to confront people who owe you money because you assume people are honourable like you, they honour their promises. Well you, are in for a rude awakening.
I am not a staunch linguist yet I make it a point to attach the correct meaning and context to words. ‘Lend’ implies that money given to an individual must be returned on an agreed time frame. However, past experiences have taught me that where money, family, friends and colleagues is concerned, the word ‘lend’ actually translates to support or assistance without the expectation of getting back your money.
Before you become an accidental Santa Clause this festive season, make it known to people who will try to lend money from you that you are not a registered financial institution or credit provider. Go a step further and direct them to the National Credit Regulator website where they will find registered credit providers. Do not mention loan sharks as an attempt to help, they bite. Literally.
And to free yourself from the burden of expecting to be paid back, rather give.