Magazine article New Internationalist

Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt

Magazine article New Internationalist

Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt

Article excerpt

I know it makes some people tremendously uncomfortable, but I can't say it has bothered me much. Often, contrarily, it makes me feel appreciated, gives me a warm glow.

I'm talking about being socially indebted, being on the receiving end of acts of kindness from friends or strangers. Funnily enough, the overriding feelings I get are of being valued and connected, rather than any immediate obligation to repay. I believe these things even out in the end anyway and if it costs me little to help, then I certainly don't keep score! The reward of helping out is in the doing.

My feelings about my mortgage debt are, sadly, entirely different - not only will the wretched thing haunt me until I am old and grey, it has turned me old and grey already. Such contractual, monetized debts are of a different order, of course; there is no trace of the social about them. And they can hang heavy indeed, especially when one feels tricked or forced into having taken on something unmanageable. …

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