Coffee and a Chat – April No. 1

I cannot believe that I have been so shockingly neglectful about my blog over the past year. It’s all very well to blame lockdown restrictions and the Covid 19 pandemic, but I must take a great deal of the blame myself. Somehow days just fly by at an alarming rate and I just want to grab hold of time and make it slow down, just a bit. Suffice to say that I have decided to stop grumbling about lack of hours in the day and to make a concerted effort to post something short, and hopefully of interest to some of you out there, every couple of days. This should assist in the prevention of the so-called “writer’s block”.

Isn’t it amazing just how you only really start to see the true person when you observe their relationship with money. We are all very aware of how difficult life has become and it is certainly not easy to amass fortunes, unless one is a corrupt politician or an out and out scoundrel, or both! However, observing the way in which individuals react in circumstances where cash is involved can make or break a friendship, or a business deal. Sad to say, there seem to be way too many people who have made money their God. It isn’t money which is the root of all evil, but the love of money!

We can’t do very much without it, and we need to have it in order to survive as well as to help others in this lifetime, but when meanness of spirit is the result of penny pinching, it can really kill a friendship. I am sure that many of us have felt let down and disappointed when this has happened and it sometimes results in us feeling used and abused, especially if we should land up paying the bill after meeting a tight fisted “friend” for coffee or a snack at their invitation.

Thinking back over the years and remembering people who were, for a lengthy period of time, friends with whom we socialized on a regular basis, money matters often created a certain amount of discomfort. One couple lived in a fairly affluent suburb, the husband was a company director, but at every turn the wife was counting the pennies and making sure that the meals she made for us were the most economical possible, despite the fact that we made every effort to entertain them well in our home.  Even her children had to put a price tag on everything that was purchased, including the cost of re-decorating their bedrooms! Strangely, when our own financial situation took a bit of a temporary dive for various reasons, we no longer heard from this family. Did they think we were going to arrive on their doorstep, suitcase in hand and expect charity? Instead of showing some concern for our well-being, we were instantly taken off their Christmas card list!

When I have been involved in direct selling it has always interested me to observe the various attitudes by customers across the board when it comes to payment. One person comes to mind who, having placed a relatively large order, wanted to know what I would give her as a gift for buying from me. The fact that I was saving her time as well as money and personally delivering her order seemed to be of no consequence. At the other end of the continuum, there are those customers who have very little cash to spare, place an order and then almost refuse to accept the few rands of change which is due to them. Just goes to show the difference between those with the generous hearts versus the tight fisted penny pinchers, who make sure that their payment is correct to the last cent! This is a painful learning curve when one first becomes aware of these differences in peoples’ relationship with money!

We all need money and it might not bring happiness, but not having any, most certainly brings sadness and despair, and with it crime. That is something we are very much aware of here in South Africa. However, enough waffling and today I am feeling positive and am looking at a totally blue sky, and a relatively warm day. A good day to be alive!

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