Friends who borrow books and forget

I set out to make every other book I read a re-read; meaning, re-read my top 10. I’m still trying. Soon as I finish one book, I feel compelled to grab something new. Except for yesterday.

As I sent to reach for my copy of Influence by Robert Cialdini, I suddenly remembered how I lent it to a friend of mine eight months ago. I don’t think she read it yet. I don’t think she will. And this is even after I shared with her the story of another buddy of mine.

My other friend, I handed a copy of the movie Tigerland (2000), starring Colin Farrell, when we were stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana. The movie was about Fort Polk, Louisiana.

Two years later (after I initially lent him my DVD copy), he still hadn’t watched it, but he was returning it because he was leaving the Army. I’ve quite a few other stories of lending money or items to friends who never returned the money or items, or never read the book or watched the DVD borrowed.

Economics calls it the problem of the commons or externality. Simply put, people don’t give a shit about what doesn’t belong to them.

My rule of thumb these days is to just imagine it as a gift.