Borrowed time

We have all used or experienced borrowed time before. There are always costs associated with it, but we find ourselves wanting it all the same.

The simplest example of borrowed time is credit. You are borrowing time from the bank to use money that you do not have yet, but that you know you will, in theory, be able to return this time. The cost of not returning this time is interest, where you simply have to pay an additional percentage of the initial cost. Very simple and straightforward.

Terminally ill patients who live past their given life expectancy are said to be on borrowed time. The cost here is not so straightforward. The cost could be fiscal, as keeping someone knocking on death’s door can be very expensive. The cost could be someone else’s life, where only that person’s organs will prolong the inevitable for ten to fifteen more years. The cost could also be emotional, as families have spent time preparing for the end; when the patient makes it past the diagnosed time, since we humans are creatures of hope, a small part of us may begin to wonder if your loved one is the statistical anomaly, the one exception. The price for this borrowed time, is devastation.

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