Tag Archives: life debt

The Life Debt Concept

27 Jul

Many years ago, I first had the life debt concept explained to me, and it has altered the way I perceive the world ever since.  It’s not a difficult concept and while it is undoubtedly a philosophical concept, it lacks the usual high brow association that most people give the entire realm of philosophy.  It’s actually pretty down to earth.

From the moment we are born, we owe a life debt.  It starts with the debt that we owe our mothers for giving birth to us.  It’s a big debt too, for she endured physical discomfort and pain to give us life.  In some cases, she may have endured emotional pain that we will never know about as well, even if she isn’t the woman we’ll call our mothers through childhood, we owe our birth mothers that initial debt.

We continue accruing debt as we’re nurtured through infancy and early childhood, when we are incapable of paying back any of that life debt.  Then we enter our childhood, the part that we can remember through adulthood, and begin expanding our network of life debts.

Every single relationship, whether positive or negative, involves an exchange of life debt.  Friends and enemies alike exchange a portion of our initial base life debt, along with teachers, mentors, siblings, extended family, even medical personnel who help us be as healthy as possible.  Each relationship we establish with another person means that we take on, often unknowingly, a piece of their life debt, as they take on a piece of ours.  This invisible exchange is the foundation of those relationships, and the larger the exchange, the stronger the relationship is.

In our youth, our elders invest heavily in our bank of life account.  It’s the natural order of things, to invest in the future generation.  They take on more than a fair share of the debt we’ve already accrued in order to give us a good start in life and our life debt account.  In due course, when we mature and become elders ourselves, we’ll repeat the same process with the next generation.

The goal is to live a long life, paying off our life debt as we go through our lives.  At the same time, not everyone pays off their debt at the same rate.  Just like any other debt, some people may be inclined to not do more than pay a minimal payment, while others work harder to pay down that life debt at a faster rate.

Is there a tangible difference?

It’s not like we get a life debt balance sent to us in a statement each year.  It doesn’t work that way.  We can’t call the bank of life and demand customer service give us a running total either.  It doesn’t matter what your religious beliefs are, what you may or may not call a supreme being, or even what day you have designated as a day of rest.  It doesn’t matter if you are saved, a heathen or die a religious martyr. You don’t avoid the life debt concept by being an atheist.

There won’t be any big splash across a magazine cover telling us who the richest people in the world are in terms of their life debt balance either.  Nobody else knows how you are doing with your balance, nobody else can see you make payments, and not even the Joneses know whether you are keeping up with them or have surpassed them.

The only one who can know how you are doing with your life debts is you.

That’s the real clincher.  You don’t make the payments to impress anyone or to improve your credit score.  If you don’t make the payments, there won’t be a collector calling on the phone to remind you.  There is no option of insurance to cover the debt either.

There is no bankruptcy option.

Oh, sure, there are people who tell you that you’ll pay a spiritual debt when you die, but none of us know for sure what happens when we die anyhow.  We have to believe in something after death, without proof.  That’s a tough one–this vague threat.  It’s like hearing “just wait until your father gets home” when he isn’t going to be home for a long, long time.  We can forget and ignore the threat.

At the same time, there are times when the debt is reneged upon.  We call that suicide.  The person has opted out, failed to pay their life debts, and that’s that.  There can be varying amounts of unpaid debt, of course, as suicide can occur at any stage of life.  For some, there is likely to be little, if any, debt remaining, as the suicide occurs near the end of their life due to illness or infirmity.

There are other kinds of reneging though too.  One can isolate themselves from others to the point that there is no possibility of making a payment.  It can be a physical as well as emotional isolation, or it can simply be one or the other.  It can be by simply refusing to pay forward too, and becoming selfish and self-centered.

Everyone has their own concept regarding death and afterlife, if any.  The same goes with being judged after our lives are over.  I’m not going to tell you how your life debt will or won’t affect you after your life ends.  That’s going to be a huge surprise for me, just like it will be for you.  We can believe whatever we choose to be true, but just like in life, that belief does not make it so.  It’s still going to be a surprise.

I’m holding onto the hope that it’s going to be a wonderful surprise though.


What is a family?

24 Mar

The other day, my daughter posted a question to her status on Facebook, inquiring what family meant to other people.  She stated that her family wasn’t the “normal” kind.

That made me think.

What the heck is a “normal” family anyhow?  Does “normal” even need to be considered in terms of family?

Each family is so unique, so different, and so much an example of a “micro-culture” that figuring out what is “normal” is virtually impossible.  We have the perception of what “normal” is from television, but I have never met a family that was really like the Cleavers or any other family on television.

Those programs had nothing to do with reality.  Those people were neat, nice, polite, and clean.  All the time.  That’s absolutely NOT reality.

This so called “normal” family is made up of two very patient and understanding parents–a man and a woman.  The woman is slightly younger than the man.  The man has a job.  The woman might also have a job of her own.  The children all are always clean, well behaved, and have their homework done.  They get good grades, get along with their peers, and are always considerate (at least by the end of the program) of their peers.  Nobody ever swears.

Uh huh.

How many of those moms ended up working overtime until four in the morning, only to drive home and pass out on the couch, where at about six in the morning, her eighteen month old toddler throws  a can of baked beans, which hits her in the face, causing an impressive amount of blood, swearing, and confusion?  How many of those moms have walked into the kitchen just as their five year old takes a tumble, knocks over a five gallon container of vegetable oil, which then proceeds to coat the entire kitchen floor?  Another great scenario was coming home from working all night and after our four month old boxer puppy was left unsupervised for half an hour in the house…to discover that she’d had an accident because she had diarrhea, had then run through it…and jumped on every single bed in the house and dragged a large quantity of toys through the mess as well.


Try not swearing.

The face smashed by a can of beans got an ice pack, and the toddler was told not to throw things in the house.  The vegetable oil was soaked up with a large stack of newspapers, then the floor (which was still VERY greasy) had another layer laid over it because we HAD to go RIGHT NOW.  When I got home, the papers had soaked up the remainder, and it just needed a normal mop job.  Whew.  The puppy mess…well, the only uncontaminated room was the very tiny bathroom.  I changed clothes, cleaned up puppy, loaded puppy into truck and picked up daughter from babysitter…and went and bought a crate for the puppy.  That just left a lot of cleaning, laundry, opening doors for fresh air, and a few choice words mumbled as child and puppy were sent outside to play for the duration…all before going to bed so that I could go to work again that night.

Family can be almost anything.  But they aren’t perfect.  Most families are related by blood and marriage, but they don’t have to be.  Some families are one kind, others are another.  Their unity is created by bonds of many kinds too.  Just because your family is unique does not mean its not “normal”–normal is something dreamed up in Hollywood, not from reality!  Unique families are great–they can be good or bad, we can have relatives we wish we could stuff in a closet, and others we can’t wait to visit again.  Families are dynamic units, continually evolving and changing too.  The family that I knew as a child is vastly different than the one my children knew, and my granddaughter will have a whole different kind of family to deal with.  We can hate our siblings, be indifferent to them, or be very close…and still be normal!  Normal is what we determine it to be, not meeting some fictional standard dreamed up by screen writers.

Family is united by affection, familiarity, and common bonds.  We owe our families a lot, and our families owe us a lot.  Those exchanged “debts” aren’t about money and favors so much as life debts.  We learn from our families, we help our families, and we get the same as we give.  We fuss and fight, we hug and kiss, we laugh and we cry, and sometimes it seems we only get together in times of sorrow and grief.

Families.  We love to complain about our own, we love to complain about our significant other’s families and their “weird” ways–face it, the ONLY family that is normal…is your own!  Because it is  normal to you.