Neither a borrower nor a lender be.
It’s a great line from Hamlet. Oh, you didn’t know that was Shakespeare? You can thank my English degree for that little nugget of trivia.
The full quote:
Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 75–77
I like doing nice things for people I like. If they need something, I do what is in my power to help. Sometimes, I may even go out of my way.
Now let’s be clear. I have borrowed from friends. When it was cash, it was a prideful moment … a shame almost that I need the help. And I felt weighted by a guilt or obligation until such was the time I could pay them back. When it was material goods, I ensured I made every effort to return them as soon as I was finished.
I don’t borrow much any more. I’ve come to a point in my life where I don’t need to.
And in the future, I won’t be lending much either.
Twice in recent times I’ve had to chase people down to return items I loaned them, items they’ve kept in their possession for a year or more.
Do the actual items mean much? No. Material goods are, more often than not, easily replaced.
It is, however, the value I place upon the trust in people to respect me and the efforts I make to assist them.
In truth, I’ve come to realize those relationships were not as strong as I initially thought. The bonds that tied me to those people have frayed along with their wont to take advantage of my favours or disregard my requests for return.
What’s unfortunate is how this will affect my approach towards loaning items in the future.
Oh, I’ll still help my friends when I can — picking up the bill occasionally, playing taxicab and even editing letters or photos.
But what’s mine is mine.