Learning to Fly

swimmerguy's picture

It seems as if in all of our lives there's involved a rather odd little man we're unaware of.

His name is the Great Debt Collector, and he doesn't deal in money, he deals in life.

He's a rather odd debt collector, as well as a rather cruel one quite often.
The problem is, he makes all sorts of debts to people without telling them that they are indeed debts.

The problem is there ain't no such thing as a free lunch, you can't get something for nothing. Happiness and pleasure come, but they come at a price. The problem is sometimes we don't know that, or we forget, only to have our debt collected on, with interest, much later.

The GDC collects different interest rates for different kinds of debt.
For example, I drink a ton of coffee and tea and caffeinated beverages.
I get the immediate payout every morning, as coffee helps me wake up, and tastes delicious, but then the GDC comes in to collect. In this case, the interest is, actually, negative, I end up with more than he does. He comes and collects when I get light-headed later in the day, and then collects again on the weekends when I get withdrawal headaches and exhaustion.
But in the end, the payout I get for the debt is indeed greater than the collection.

But then there's partying, and drugs, and alcohol, and all the other entailed items.
This is one area where the GDC is rather cruel. He never tells anyone they're taking out a debt, but of course, you can't get something for nothing, these things come at a price. And then people pay them, or rather take out the payout from the debt, only to get collected from later.
And here's another odd characteristic of the Great Debt Collector, he collects only sometimes, and differing amounts for everyone.

For example, Dharun Ravi, mentioned in the previous journal, took what was, in the end, a very small payout for himself from the GDC, only to discover that the interest rate was many many orders of magnitude, and collection was to begin just days later, and would continue, and continue, and still continue, and will indeed continue for the rest of his life.
Other people take out very similar payouts from the GDC, only to be collected from only very slightly, or not at all.

The Great Debt Collector is not very organized.

And that, in the end, is one of the greatest problems with the Great Debt Collector.
Because people see everyone else getting payouts without getting collected from, they assume they can do it too.
And that's where, for example, a lot of crime comes from, and why harsh sentences and the death penalty don't work.
People are assuming, when they take payouts from the GDC, that they can play him for a chump and he'll never collect, and sometimes they're right. No matter how harshly he collects from those he does collect from, the new debtors are assuming they'll be in the category that never has to pay, that they'll be the ones who do get something for nothing.

The GDC is alternately harsh and merciful, and to most people, he lets them get away with stupidity in their youth, under the assumption he won't have to collect, they'll pay it back on their own in adulthood.
But he has to make examples of others, with STD's and overdoses and pregnancies. Just to keep us on our toes, I suppose.

In other words, the Great Debt Collector is a right fucking bastard. If he was just consistent and up front with his loans, the world would be so much of a better place.


elph's picture

Except for inevitable ravages of age...

and certain diseases... it seems that all our decisions involve making a gamble at some level.

Be very cognizant of this... and do your level best to make sure that the odds (at our current level of knowledge!) are always in your favor! (Acknowledging, however, that the GDC could still win!)

E.g., one glass of wine with a meal... may enhance one's innate personality and even contribute to overall health (jury's still mulling this). But at some point, additional glasses start shifting the odds in GDC's favor!

A corollary to this is that odds in your favor increase with education (provided you take advantage)...

jeff's picture


Shouldn't this be Great Owner of Debts? ;-)

"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)

elph's picture


If you wish to give credit to the so-generated acronym.

MacAvity's picture

Figure if you're

Figure if you're personifying omnipotent forces, you might as well.