Last week, while I was in the middle of typing some invoices I received a text message on my cellphone. I took a glance at the screen and saw my friend's name, but to my surprise the message didn't come from her. It was from her elder brother that said he wanted to borrow one million Rupiahs (about USD 110) and that he would pay me back on June 10. He also mentioned that if possible he wanted the money to be transferred to his bank account that very same day. Since I have Lippo account and his is Mandiri, that means I have to spend time going to the bank and transferred the money to him. He didn't elaborate what the money for or whether he has talked to my friend about this issue beforehand. In that moment all the scenarios of what might happen to my friend in Bandung blazing through my mind. But just a day before she was OK and texted me that she has just received the recipe book that I sent her. I know all of her family including the brother who sent me the text message, but not as close as my friendship with her. I am a generous person and sometimes like to buy friends lunch and don't want anything in return--but that's about it.
Within my family, I never loan, I give. For me it makes me feel good to help out the people I love if they need it, even though I often grumbled and mad when the sum asked is a bit more than I could handle ... but there's nothing in the world I'd like less than to be thought that I am mean to my own family! With friends or other people, if they have a good reason for needing some help, I just give it to them if I can spare it and they’re worthy. So I just don't get it what drives my friend's brother for being so bold asking me that favor thru SMS and using his sister cellphone some more! My friend once told me her brother often experiencing financial problems, and no matter how much money she gave him will just serve as a Band-Aid, and sooner or later he will find himself in dire straits again. If it was for her, she knows where to find me and I might help.
We all know that money can put a relationship on a completely different level between friends and family. It becomes a matter of trust on the one side and obligation on the other. There's a saying it is better not to lend and have a friend, than to lend and lose both. So I decided to wait until a few hours and wanted to know if there will be another SMS or phone call to my cell. NOTHING...quiet! The next morning I texted my friend and told her about the SMS from her brother to me. She was so surprised and profusely apologized for she didn't know anything about that at all. She asked me to ignore the message and said sorry again. And I'd never heard from her again since ...
Just a thought, would you lend a friend money if they asked you to?!? Did I do the right thing by not helping my friend's brother?