Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hard times for some

Three of my friends have gone, or are going through, a stage where they are trying to pay off their debt. (Two have been declared bankrupt, the other is in the middle of a lawsuit.) By doing so they had or have no money left to pay for food. It’s a very tough place to be in because it means the following:

· Fessing up to strangers that you did things in the past that led you to ask for a food package from the government or the Sallies.
· Feeling humiliated you’re not able to look after your finances and that you need help
· Having to tell family and friends you got to this point which is usually hugely embarrassing (even though the reasons are varied and understandable)
· Having to learn to look yourself in the face and overcome all the emotional issues and find understanding in yourself
· Get a practical plan in place and make a radical change for the future

· After the initial hubbub accept all that happened, tidy up and move on.

It takes a while to get to that last point. I have great admiration for my friends who have admitted they made mistakes, that they didn’t handle their finances in the best of ways and that they are majorly committed now to sticking with budgets and self restraint. My friends said that some people responded weird, that because they ‘lost face’ they were no longer friends. To me that should tell my friends more about what these ‘supposed’ friends were really like in the first place then what it says about themselves.

I think it does anyone great credit to admit they have done something that wasn't so handy and that they have chosen to face the music and continue on regardless. It’s what makes us human. The fact that people, and friends, may do silly things or make mistakes is not a reason for me to stop being friends with them. I would be a very shallow and unwise person if I were to do that.

A friend of mine always says: “Bless the Crisis, because it creates movement and change”. I think he’s very right. Yes, when you’re in a tight spot or when you are going through hard times it’s not funny at the time but looking back it’s one of the best things that could have happened. Why? Because WE LEARN. Being in a safe unchangeable environment is not going to challenge you nor make you grow. Basically I find if people have nothing going on in their lives they are either Mahatma Ghandi types who are transgressed beyond attachment and judgment (extremely rare breed these) or they are trying to safe-glide through life which really, is incredibly boring! I’m not a boring person myself so I’m not surprised I get to know people who are slightly off the wall. That’s fine with me. Imperfectness is beautiful, perfectness is boring as heck.

Having said that, I wouldn’t suggest creating dramas in your life for the sake of it, but when things do happen, taking a good look and work out what the scenario is. What is the hardest part? What do you hate about it? Anything you resist persists someone else said. It’s very very true. You know how events come back into your life, different people and stage, same topic. It stops once you learn from it, when it changes you. These situations honestly cease to come back. I swear funny but true.

Life is to experience, not to learn from in the sense that we are here only to learn. We acquire wisdom by doing. This includes choosing to do stupid things or making choices where we later go: “Hang on, that wasn’t the brightest idea on the planet.” Still we are people. Can we at least be allowed to be human?

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