They say, “A friend in need, is a friend indeed.” But what happens when that friend begins to take advantage?
Here’s the scenario: Julie, a hard working secretary, lent money to her good friend Ray; $1,300 to be exact. Ray had just moved to a new town and claimed that he needed two new suits: one for an upcoming wedding and one to wear on job interviews. Ray lived in a beautiful penthouse. He had a degree in Computer Science and was accustomed to the finer things in life –designer labels, frequent travel, and spa weekends. When Ray told Julie he would repay her and signed a paper promising to do so, Julie didn’t think anything of it.
A couple of weeks later, Ray tried to hit Julie up for more money; this time to furnish his new home. When she told him that she wouldn’t be able to help him out this time, he accused her of being cold and hung up the phone on her. Julie suddenly realized that she was being taken advantage of. Her hurt quickly turned to rage. She wanted to know how someone could be so self-serving and inconsiderate. If Julie had been weak enough to lend Ray another several hundred dollars for furniture, how could he sleep at night knowing that she had expenses of her own to look after?
We as women have an innate desire to nurture whenever possible. Many of us have learned the hard way we must always keep our guard up –spot when we may be being misled or taken advantage of. It is a common belief that a woman who is eager to lend money to a man suffers from naivety, desperation, or poor self-esteem. But in this case it was a loan not a gift, and a friendship not a romantic relationship.
We all know how risky it is to lend money to a friend of either sex. Some of us decide to give the lendee the benefit of the doubt because we think we know and trust them. Some of us are vigilant enough to take precautions to make the loan legally binding. The bottom line is that we need to stop stereo-typing and pointing fingers at a woman who would lend a man money. We need to take a closer look at the character of anyone who would try to take advantage of a friend’s generosity.
Along with her respect for him, Julie also lost all compassion for Ray and their so-called friendship deteriorated. The fact of the matter is that no one can respect a man who fails to respect others. When he performs actions that are self-serving and manipulative, his sincerity, his honor, his integrity, are all called into question.
They say, “It’s not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity.”