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I suffered from debts for a long period of time, as I have said before, and I feel nothing is more depressing than this.

Once a person falls into debt, he usually finds it quite difficult to pay off, as most people must know from their own experiences. At the time an individual borrows money, he undoubtedly intends to repay it as soon possible. But even when he has saved enough for this, he often feels reluctant to do so. This is only human nature. The borrower thinks up some excuse, such as, "Maybe I can keep this money for a while, put it to work so it yields some profit. It may not be too late to repay the debt after that." On the other hand, if he decides to clear himself of debt once and for all and repays the loan money, the lender places more trust in him and shows willingness to lend again. Then it is likely that the individual borrows still more money than before.

Money usually does not come in as expected but does go out constantly as scheduled, so an individual quite often finds that he cannot pay back a loan by the due date. Once a person is locked up in debt, it is quite difficult for him to get rid of it, until finally it becomes a habit pattern to be in debt. There are some people who even feel uneasy when they owe no money. For the above reason, there are very few individuals who, once fallen into debt, completely pay off.

Of the many unpleasant problems occurring in present-day society, among the greatest are those which are caused by the lending or borrowing of money. It is said that the majority of civil suits are caused by this. So I believe the first requirement to eradicate strife from this world is to avoid both lending and borrowing. If circumstances compel the borrowing of money, it should be returned as soon as possible. If everybody followed this standard, there would be no saying how much brighter our society would become and how much unpleasantness would decrease among us.

Another thing I would like to point out is that debts often shorten a person's life span. I have heard that the late Mr. Kihachiro Okura, a famous businessman, often mentioned this and admonished people against falling into debt. I believe this must be true, because nothing weighs more heavily on a person's heart than debts. Speaking from personal experience, when I was able to completely get rid of my debts I felt as if I had been released from long years of imprisonment.


February 25, 1950



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