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How Important is $1000 To You?

September 16, 2013

Rodney, you didn’t need to hang out with me today.

Yeah, I know. But, who knows when we’ll see each other again. I hope she’s worth it. North Carolina is a long way from Redmond.

Yeah, I hope so too. Come on, I just need to close out my bank account here and we’ll grab some lunch.

We walked into the Credit Union where my best friend went through the process of closing out his bank account with the teller.

How would you like the money?

A cashier’s check for the whole amount is good. Wait! Rodney, how much did you loan me for rent back when Natashia and I split up?

A thousand dollars.

That was what? Three years ago?

I guess.

Did I ever pay you back?

No.

Okay, I’m gonna need a $1000 in cash and the rest in a cashier’s check.

You might think it odd that my best friend forgot that he owed me $1000. There are many people who are quick to forget they owe you anything. But, typically your best friend isn’t one of them. So, why did he completely forget about it?

Partly because I didn’t remind him. Ever.

How many relationships have you seen destroyed by a few hundred dollars of debt. . .or less? I’m a very competitive person. I’ve talked at times in this column about my brother (You’re Not Part of This Conversation, Now Would Be a Great Time To Shut Up!, I Had It First.) Most of the time growing up we only had each other to play with.

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We played every game you can imagine; Dungeons & Dragons, Squad Leader, Monopoly, Risk, Stratego even Diplomacy.

We came out of childhood with a killer instinct, and a desire to “win.” We’ve tempered it as adults by going into different fields. But, we’ve also had to evaluate our contacts with other people in a game strategy. I should say, I’ve had to do that. My brother is much better adjusted than I am.

But, you know what? Keeping score in a game is important. Keeping score in life is a terrible idea. We’ve all worked with those people, right? The people who knows exactly how many favors they’ve done for you and how many you’ve done for them. The person who is happy to take turns picking up the lunch check, but just wants to point out that you’re meal was $2.59 more than their meal and don’t be surprised when they order something a little more expensive next week.

Is that really the relationship you want with your friends? Or your relatives? Okay, maybe there are some relatives you need that. But, your friends? What’s a friend for if you (or they) are constantly weighing your friendship. Might there come a day that the balance tips too far to one side or the other and they decide that “you’re just no longer worth it?”

I’ve tried to value my friends a little more than that.

If I didn’t remember that loan you would have let me fly to the other side of the country and never mentioned it wouldn’t you?

Well. . .yeah. Probably.

Why?

My dad taught me don’t loan what you can’t afford to give. And when you loan someone money, pretend you gave it to them. That way if they never pay you back, you’re not disappointed, and if they do, you’re pleasantly surprised.

Lunch is on me.

If you want genuine friends, you need to be a genuine friend. If you want to be a genuine friend, don’t put a monetary value on your friendship. Because frankly, whatever value you picked, it would be too low for a true friendship.

Incidentally, my friend married the girl he moved to North Caroline for. They have three beautiful boys and we remain best of friends to this day. . .I couldn’t tell you if he owes me money. I honestly don’t remember.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife and thirteen children.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
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LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or contact him at (rbliss at msn dot com)

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