Quite some time back, a fellow blogger posed the same question (if I could remember who or when, I’d link). To my surprise the resounding response was NO! These ranged from people who wanted to protect the relationship by not lending money to some pretty strong comments about not lending money since it was the other person’s problem, not theirs.
I felt sad after reading the comments (and there were dozens).
It seems to me that if we are able to help someone else out in their hour of need, especially if they are close to us, why wouldn’t we? And what’s the point of accumulating some wealth if it’s not, at least in part, to be able to extend some of the goodness to people we care about?
I’ve been fortunate in my family and friendships, I guess. It doesn’t happen routinely, but most definitely we’ve supported one another financially over the decades. I helped my brother get his first car (a snazzy Toyota MR-6, remember those?) when he was a youth. He later helped me out when I needed a computer. My parents helped me a bit when I bought my first place. I helped them out when something unexpected happened. A friend who believed in my and my vision helped me out when my business was at a low point in its cash-flow. I later helped another friend out down the road.
Obviously the amount and the repayment agreement were proportionate to the strength of the relationship. And to my knowledge I’ve never been asked for help that was a result of an addiction.
But as a rule of thumb, I think my close friends, and I sure hope my family, knows that if it came to it, I’d help out without blinking an eye.
Readers: do you see this as a “good fences make good neighbours” situation? ie., don’t bring money into the relationship? Or do you agree with me that helping people close to us out is part of the reason to have money in the first place?