Monday, July 8, 2013

Your Societal Debt and a McDonald's IOU

A happy picture, of polar bears :)
After an incredibly rough night, I woke up to find that there was no food in my house. I had cereal, but no milk. I had peanut butter but no bread. So I made the two mile voyage to McDonald's, excited about getting a $1 iced coffee, and breakfast burrito.

Instead, as I stood in line there was a sign on each register that wasn't typically:

We currently cannot accept any credit or debit cards. 
Sorry for the inconvenience.

"Is that true? None of the computers can take cards?" I asked in a panic. I looked at my watch. I had fifteen minutes to get to work. Not exactly enough time to go anywhere and get a decent breakfast.

"It's true. Even the drive through is down."

Panic rose in my throat. I needed food. More importantly, I needed coffee. It wasn't even 7:30am yet. "Is there any way I can write you guys an IOU? I get out of work at 4, and I swear to God I'll pay it."

The cashier looked at me uncomfortably before saying, "I can get my manager and you can ask her."

She did, and the manager asked what I was getting. "It'll only be two dollars," I said. She had me sign a receipt, I got my coffee (which was hot rather than iced, but I figured beggars can't be choosers) and my breakfast burrito, and went to work.

A few hours later, I returned bottles, got $3.00 back, and paid $2.10 to the lovely manager who'd allowed me to write an IOU.

So how does this story tie into societal debt?

It's simple. When you get burned enough times, you stop trusting people. In example, if I hadn't paid the manager back, and someone else had done the same thing, a future person in a similar "emergency" would
When people get hurt enough,
they learn their lesson...
probably be rejected by the proposition of an IOU. In order to allow that future person the same luxury I was allowed, I had to pay my societal debt, and make sure the manager continues to trust honest people.

You can take this debt further. Take it into relationships with people. If your relationship sucks, you become more guarded in the next. If that one sucks, you're more guarded, and so on, until you just feel dead inside and can't remember how to function in a relationship. As a relationship, it's up to you not to hurt your significant other, and especially if you're breaking up, not to scar them for future relationships. Think of this when people loan you money and you need to pay them back. Or when you borrow something and need to return it.

Pay your debt. Ensure that people are safe, and unhurt. Protect the invisible future person from damage you may have caused.

Happy Monday.

1 comment:

Please know that if you comment and I don't respond, it's not because I don't love you. It's because I don't have wifi, but I do have a bad memory.

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