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A Habit Of Obligation


Once a moneylender was approached by a young man for loan. The moneylender invited him for lunch a day in his house so he could set the deal. He arranged lunch in the courtyard of his house, where, except his dog, his tenant and he himself were present there. The moneylender served the food to his guest and sat afar in a corner of the courtyard in silence till the young man finished the food.

As the lunch got over, the young man started talking about the need of loan. Hearing him patiently for a long time, the moneylender said tersely, “I can’t give you loan on any terms as I don’t find you a genuine person who can repay my loan.”

Baffled on the sudden change of mood of the moneylender, the young man said:

“What is wrong with me, sir? You have been very sympathetic about me since the first day of our meetings and you invited me today for such a delicious lunch. Now why have you suddenly changed your mind. Why sir? “There is a reason for it certainly,” said the moneylender, “the lunch I gave you was actually a formality and part of my hidden agenda, too, in order to check if you are my real prospect or not, and if I should stake my capital on you.

“Now I find that you are not my real prospect for giving a loan,” said moneylender straightforwardly.

“How did you check me,” asked the young man. It was nothing but your attitude,” said the moneylender. “In fact, you don’t have a habit of obligation,” added moneylender. “How did you reach to this conclusion about me?” asked the young man impatiently.

“See, my dog was present during the lunch and you did not even throw a piece of bread to him while he was surely expecting it from you. If you can’t give something to someone from what I gave to you then how I can expect that you will repay my loan; that there ultimately would be a sum of extra money with principal amount of the loan i.e. installments of interest that you have to pay me entirely from your pocket,” said the moneylender. The fable has a message in it that expression of obligation is a sort of habit and a habit of obligation is a must for any success as it reflects our basic character that leads us in every situation. Obligation arises out of a sense of duty that eventually shapes up our character. Through the positive development of habits we can change our destiny.

For destiny, it is sure that every one has to work for a change from his/her present. Sometimes it demands a lot of hard work while it becomes easy after some hard work or without any hard work.

But one thing is sure here that your destiny will rely on the forms of habits and; the habits of caring, obligation, and helping others are those things that make a person so wonderful no matter what the faith, religion, status he belongs to. So, “We are what we repeatedly do,” the remark of Aristotle over the habits is still worthwhile as it has been effective centuries ago.

Contributed By: Tapan Susheel is a post graduate in human resource management. He resides in Roorkee and can be contacted at

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