Mohan Thulasingam

‘Indebtedness’ refers to a situation in which a person becomes liable for a service or favor. Our life depends on several aspects like Nature, Society,  Culture, Politics, etc.. The growth and development of us is woven around these factors. Everything is interlinked and interdependent as well. In other words, without the support and rapport of others, an individual cannot exist and prosper in life. The contributions made by unknown people and far-away territories do affect others. Therefore, it’s a coexistence benefiting everyone. In the day-to-day actions, we become indebted in many ways. However, for emphasizing a person’s responsibility in such situations, the major five types of indebtedness are listed here.

Duty to Nature: Humanity is indebted to the Nature for providing the essentials and comforts needed for happy life. The precious resources like water, air, sunshine, etc. are available in abundance and free of cost: because they are absolutely necessary for our very existence. The selfish and greedy humans exercise rights of ownership of them for making money and wielding power. This overindulgence spoils the ecosystem and the various life-forms inhabiting in it. Eventually, this attitude ends up in killing himself. Let’s realize this truth and strive to preserve the natural resources. Remember, we owe to the fraternity and for posterity.
The Onus to return: Any failure to give back the money spent by others is a shameful act. My office colleague did not pay the amount spent by another person when they traveled on an official tour. It’s not a case of forgetfulness, but deliberate pretension. However, this guy was particular in collecting the money owed by others to him. Such people might feel over-smart though they stay indebted throughout their lives. Bribery is another variety where the receiver is bound to favor the other person by violating the normal course. It affects the public by depriving the resources meant for them, which again results in another indebtedness.
The Sense of Gratitude: Any aid in an emergency makes the receiver indebted to another. During a train accident, a co-passenger saved another traveler that was the sole breadwinner of a family. The survivor will stay indebted forever to the savior. Likewise, beneficiaries of organ and blood donations feel their obligations to those in need of such donations.
Liability to repay: When we borrow from others, an obligation to repay is created. A rich man obtained a bank loan for constructing a palatial residence. Abruptly, his business plummeted affecting the loan-repayment when he felt the pinch of indebtedness. A person cannot escape the responsibility to pay his creditors even if he could abscond from this planet. Some defaulters transfer the assets to another name and later file an insolvency to frustrate the lenders. Definitely, the conscience will harm these dishonest people in the later part of their life.
Moral Obligation: Anything is excusable, but not the indifferent attitude of the children towards their elders. This becomes unpardonable and severe during the twilight years of the latter. An old woman distributed her wealth excepting  a nominal bank balance to her five children. She single-handedly raised the kids with love and affection as the father worked in the armed forces. The youngest son only cared for her welfare. She longed to see and stay with the other four children who took less interest in her. At last, she suffered from mild scizchernophinia and died worrying all the time about the selfish heirs.
Indebtedness does exist for everybody. The one that realizes and takes responsible actions to clear such liability is a great soul to be revered. A noble person discharges the duties well making others indebted to him/her.

(Author is a Ex-Banker and can be contacted on

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