Owe your banker £1,000 and you are at his mercy; owe him £1 million and the position is reversed.
~ John Maynard Keynes
Panurge in Rabelais’s third book insists that “nature has created man for no other purpose but to lend and borrow.” Vision is borrowed from light, breath from air, the atomic materials of flesh and blood from ancient exploded stars. Life is a usurious circle guaranteeing insolvency, after which our effects are taken up by others. My mother warned me not to “borrow trouble” by worrying over things that were in God’s hands. Maybe there’s as much trouble in insufficiently mortgaging oneself. Keynes would rewrite Polonius’ advice to Laertes: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be – but if you borrow, owe big.”