So it’s only half past ten on a Monday morning and I have already had a little human drama in my house. I called the plumber early this morning – I’ve been trying to get hold of him all last week, but he is a reliable plumber and a good bloke, so he is in demand. So rang early to catch him, and he agreed to come round in an hour or so to sort out the dodgy flush on the toilet.
Then another good bloke turned up on my doorstep, this time an old friend, come for coffee. Whilst the plumber was out buying a part, my friend had a quick look and found an another way to get the loo flushing properly, which cost me nothing. So, when the plumber returned, I gently asked him if he thought my friend’s solution might work. It was like lighting a fuse, the plumber exploded with stress and wounded pride. Immediately I backed down, apologised and soothed his ruffled feathers, and agreed to pay for the new part and his solution to the problem.
Was that the right choice ? In my opinion, definitely yes. It’s possible that my friend’s solution might have worked, and certainly I could do without paying out more than I need, but to me the saving was not worth the loss of a good relationship. Respect – love, if you like – is worth more than money.
It’s a choice we are all faced with from time to time. I am not well off, but I will always tip for decent service in a cafe, or pay for a class I haven’t been able to attend. It keeps my inner light burning and it helps others around me feel respected and appreciated.
By the same token the two clients who still owe me money will be suffering for it more than I am. Whether or not they hold in consciously in their minds, their unconscious knows they have treated another person badly. Worse, it is another person who has helped them through difficult times. That kind of low level guilt eats at you, eroding their self love, staining mind, body and spirit.
When I apologised to my plumber and affirmed that I do respect him and his knowledge, his shoulders visibly relaxed. He began whistling as he went about his work. Meanwhile, I also feel good. Frankly, those results are more than worth the extra money I have paid. So which would you choose. More money in your wallet, or more light in your heart?