I got a private message from an old high school classmate. We haven’t talked for years and the last time we’ve seen each other was on our graduation day. Thus it hit me hard when she messaged me one Wednesday morning.
Classmate: Hi, Berlin
Berlin: Hello, good morning.
Classmate: Berlin… I know it is very uncalled for… I wanted to seek a little help sana… pls don’t tell joema ha… (she is also my husband’s friend)
Berlin: Sure, no problem.
Classmate: I am taking chances sana with you… I am so broke now… I just need help for now… I wanted to know if I can borrow money from you… 1500 berlin… just enough to get me and the kids going until my nxt pay Sept 8. I promise to give it back to you by then.
That morning, we deposited P1,500 to her account.
I haven’t heard from her since that day. I messaged her two weeks ago, asking how she’s doing. She didn’t reply. Husband, who knew everything, asked me as well if Classmate paid already. (I can’t go out that day so I asked husband to deposit the money. Before that though, I told Classmate I have to tell Husband about it because I have no means to deposit money. She gave her go signal.)
Berlin: I messaged her but she only “seen zone” me.
Husband: She will never pay you, Berlin.
Berlin: I know that. I just also took the chance. That despite the sudden approach, there may be possibilities she will pay. But why did you allow me to lend her the money?
Husband: Because I am just checking your heart. And I know there is always goodness in you.
Berlin: Now I feel frustrated.
Husband: You’re frustrated with yourself more than you’re frustrated with her, for sure.
Berlin: I am frustrated with myself for lending her despite knowing there are chances she will not pay. But I do not want to think of that way so I lend her the money anyway. But more than that, I felt the need to help her. We haven’t talked for years then all of a sudden, she asked for help. We’re not even close. She must be that broke. And now, she broke my heart. She should have at least answered my message. Sadly, she opted to taint her name for P1,500.
Husband: Let us just say she is going through a rough time. Perhaps she would want to pay you but then she can’t face you just yet because she still doesn’t have the money.
Nourish your courage
It has been more than one month since that early private message.
I must admit I still feel a little low. I couldn’t fathom the thought of giving false promises or not saying the truth. But then, I took the chance to believe in her the same way she took the chance on me. I perhaps made a mistake for lending her that amount. But that is how I will grow – not to let my emotions dictate my decision. Though it is good to help, it is still prudent to at least evaluate the situation. Or if I choose to help, I should never expect anything in return, even paying debts. Because I opt to click the bait to take chance as well.
Maybe, not everyone in this world is as good as I would want to imagine. But I do not want to lose faith in humanity. In the first place, I do not know the other side of the story. Perhaps those people are just having a tough time. And for them, bravery is not answering messages and letting others think whatever they would want.
May this incident not push me to the extremes of losing faith in humanity. I still hope that hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. That, to me, is courage.
Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.
– Mary Tyler Moore