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Value of a Promise

By Karmayogi

A promise is given to another. A vow is taken for oneself. A good part of the population has financial difficulties of all descriptions, at all levels. I can offer one suggestion to them for immediate temporary relief. Such suggestions are as old as Thirukural or Ramayana. Suppose someone has debts from forty people totalling Rs 87 lakhs and he is now faced with an emergency of a serious type for three lakhs of rupees, his getting that amount is not possible. When someone offers him that money on an understanding that the next collection will pay it off, the temptation is not to repay it but to meet earlier emergencies. What is involved is not money only. It is the personality. Should the person pay off whatever little amount he gets towards the promised payment, all his 87 lakhs will soon be paid off.

We look at MONEY as money. Money is what the man makes. It is his personality that attracts money or repels it. Someone relieves you in an emergency. If you vow to return the money as you promised to yourself, your personality gets strengthened and attracts more money. In no time, all the Rs 87 lakhs of debt dissolves. Generally, those who have perennial money difficulties will have the following attitudes: 1) As soon as some cash comes in, they will spend it on some new want of theirs, 2) they will pay off more pressing debts than the one for which it is earmarked, 3) any cleverer person around will take off the money. A small percentage of people will borrow with a definite intention of NOT returning it. They cannot be commented upon. A rare few have a way of challenging the lender, finding some flimsy complaint, ‘‘Can you get your money back?''

The finest type in all these cases is one who lays a trap for someone to walk into so that he can have a permanent gain. People do not so much do it in money, but readily do it in a situation that resembles a bargain. In my experience, they are the meanest of human beings. With a few of them, I made an experiment - spiritual. I willingly and consciously entered the trap and they had the joy of having caught me, but not my soul that had done the experiment. I emerged unscathed each time. More than that, life offered a greater reward. In most cases, I do not know what happened to those who laid the trap. In a few cases, I did know what happened to them. I shudder to record what they went through, sometimes before my very eyes.
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