追加保證金通知

By Rudolfs Danis Smits

「Margin」這個字在職場有許多意思。例如,韋伯字典給它的定義是極小的盈餘,或是限制。在美國股市當中指的投資人以自有現金買進的部分。(註1:按照美國聯邦儲備局規定,一開始你帳戶中投資股票的自付額必需到達50%才能進行下一步的融資)。而當股票下跌,自付額度低於維持這筆投資的金額(紐約證交所規定25%),你就會收到Margin call(追加保證金通知)。這會迫使投資人必須選擇清算手中庫存的股票或者增加更多現金到帳戶當中。

如果我們付不出追加的保證金,問題就大了。這個時候,我們需要另一種內建的Margin(空白),否則我們會感到很大的壓力、痛苦甚至是覺得大難臨頭。無論我們的經濟狀況如何,都需要這兩種不同的Margin。理查 A史文生醫師(Richard A. Swenson, M.D.)在他的書Margin當中寫道:

“Margin是在我們的極限和神之間的一段空白,是超過需要的一切的總和。通常會出現在一些不可能或是臨時發生的狀況之下。Margin是休息和耗竭之間、也是呼吸和窒息之間的一個空白的區域。

今天的社會,各樣的事物填滿我們時間行程,要有一段”空白”的時間似乎很困難。滿滿的行程表、家庭、生意、事奉以及要完成的目標、進度、科技、想要成功的慾望都在情緒上、體力上以及經濟上消耗著我們。為了追求物質,我們犧牲了自己求知和情緒上的需要,我們已經失去成為一個健全的人所需要的個人時間了。

史文生醫師說:「缺乏”空白”的生活是陰險和有毒的,卻也是很普遍的。」他解釋說,我們大部分的人甚至不知道所謂的”空白”是甚麼?缺少”空白”的生活是甚麼?但是我們感到痛苦。史文生醫師提供了以下的描述:

沒有“空白”的生活就是看醫生遲到三十分鐘,原因是因為晚二十分鐘離開銀行。又為什麼你會晚二十分鐘離開銀行,是因為你送孩子去上學遲了十分鐘。為什麼你會遲到十分鐘,是因為你開車到二條街外的加油站時忘了帶錢包。”

空白已經被進度和對成功的慾望給破壞了。我們聽過地球要永續環保,你聽過生活也要永續環保嗎?現在的”空白”卻必須活在所謂「更好的生活」和成功的陰影之下。聖經告訴我們:「並那壞了心術、失喪真理之人的爭競。他們以敬虔為得利的門路。然而,敬虔加上知足的心便是大利了;因為我們沒有帶甚麼到世上來,也不能帶甚麼去。」(提摩太前書6章5-7節).

空白不會憑空出現,我們必須要努力爭取和維護它。我在建築業的工作教我在標一個案子的時候,要分配工作也要留一些資源給突發事件和不能預期的困難。我們的工作,商業預算或著是家庭的計畫,也需要留”空白”(可能是時間上的空白)給預期外的花費以及突發事件。如同聖經經文所說的:「你們哪一個要蓋一座樓,不先坐下算計花費,能蓋成不能呢?」「或是一個王出去和別的王打仗,豈不先坐下酌量,能用一萬兵去敵那領二萬兵來攻打他的嗎?」(路加福音14章28、31節).

[email protected]版權所有 魯道夫.丹尼斯.史密特 前企業主,目前是席爾國際企業的設計師和科技部經理。席爾國際為規劃和建築風險管理顧問公司。他也是CBMC拉脫維亞的創始會員以及理事會成員、波羅地海改革宗神學院創始成員以及前歐洲CBMC理事會成員。

省思與問題討論

史文生醫師說: 「空白被進步這個小偷偷走了。如果我們希望把空白要回來,我們要檢視『進步』這件事。」你同意在二十一世紀,追求進步、物質和成功,已經將我們生活中的空白偷走了嗎?分享你的看法。 你覺得自己在哪一方面的空白被偷走了?情緒上、身體上、或者時間上 ?你是如何辨認出來的?這對你的生活品質有甚麼影響? 你要怎麼做才能重新獲得空白?想一想耶穌十個聰明童女的比喻。「那時,天國好比十個童女拿著燈出去迎接新郎。其中有五個是愚拙的,五個是聰明的。愚拙的拿著燈,卻不預備油;聰明的拿著燈,又預備油在器皿裏。新郎遲延的時候,她們都打盹,睡著了。半夜有人喊著說:『新郎來了,你們出來迎接他!』那些童女就都起來收拾燈。愚拙的對聰明的說:『請分點油給我們,因為我們的燈要滅了。』聰明的回答說:『恐怕不夠你我用的;不如你們自己到賣油的那裏去買吧。』她們去買的時候,新郎到了。那預備好了的,同他進去坐席,門就關了。其餘的童女隨後也來了,說:『主啊,主啊,給我們開門!』他卻回答說:『我實在告訴你們,我不認識你們。』所以,你們要警醒;因為那日子,那時辰,你們不知道。」(馬太福音25章1-13節)應用在你的狀況,預備燈油對你來說指的是甚麼? 魯益師(C.S.Lewis)曾經寫過一句話:「在神裡面,沒有慾望需要被滿足,只有豐豐富富給予的願望。」對你而言,要維持空白,最基本的條件是甚麼?請閱讀希伯來書13章5節,並且思考如何應用這些原則在你個人的生活當中。

備註: 如果你手上有聖經希望能閱讀更多關於這個主題相關的經文,請參考:出埃及記34章21節;民數記5章21節;馬太福音11章29節;希伯來書4章11節;腓立比書4章11節;提摩太前書6章8節

THE NEED FOR A PERSONAL “MARGIN CALL”

By Rudolfs Dainis Smits

The word “margin” has many meanings and applications. Even for the workplace. The Merriam-Webster dictionary, for example, says it can mean, a bare minimum below which or an extreme limit beyond which something becomes impossible or is no longer desirable. It can mean the difference between profit and loss. If equity in your account – value of securities minus what you owe the brokerage) – falls below the maintenance margin, the brokerage can issue a “margin call.” This forces the investor to either liquidate his/her position in the stock, or add more cash to the account.

Problems arise when due to a lack of margin we cannot cover losses or exceed specified limits, when we fall short on cash or no reserves to meet the demand. Without a built-in buffer (margin), results can be stressful, painful, and even catastrophic. There is a different kind of “margin,” however, that applies to each of us regardless of how much we have in financial resources. In his book, Margin, Richard A. Swenson, M.D. writes:

“Margin is the space between our load and our limits. It is the amount allowed beyond that which is needed. It is something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations. Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion, the space between breathing freely and suffocating.”

Many things compete for our resources today, causing many of us to live outside of a reasonable margin in terms of time and personal resources. Full schedules, families, businesses, ministry, demanding goals, the speed of progress, technology, and our desire for success also have depleted us emotionally, physically and financially. Pursuing material things, we have sacrificed our cognitive (mental and emotional) needs. This has left us short of uncommitted personal time necessary for well-being.

Swenson writes, “The disease of margin-less living is insidious, widespread and virulent.” He explains most of us do not even know what margin is; we don”t understand what margin-less living means, but we certainly feel the pain. The physician offers this description:

“Margin-less is being thirty minutes late to the doctor”s office because you were twenty minutes late to getting out of the bank because you were ten minutes late dropping the kids off at school because the car ran out of gas two blocks from the gas station and you forgot your wallet.” Can you identify with this?

Margin has been sabotaged by progress and demands of success. We hear talk about sustaining a green Earth. But how about a “sustainable” and “green” lifestyle? Margin has to be supported which requires living contentedly in the shadow of progress and supposed “better living.” The Bible tells us true peace of mind with God and spiritual well-being require contentment: “…constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world” (1 Timothy 6:5-7).

Margin does not just happen – we must fight to keep it. My work in the construction industry has taught me to bid on projects and allocate work resources with sufficient contingencies and funds for unforeseen obstacles that inevitably arise. Our work, business budget, or family schedules should also include buffers and time margins to accommodate unexpected expenses and developments. The Scriptures advise us, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?…what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down firstand deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? (Luke 14:28,31).

© 2017. Rudolfs Dainis Smits, MATS BArch Dipl. Arch architect & business owner; currently Design & Technical manager for Hill International – Project and Construction Risk management; former chairmen and board member of CBMC Latvia; founding member of Reformed Baltic Theological Seminary, Riga, Latvia and former Europartners board member.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

“Margin has been stolen away, and progress was the thief. If we want margin back, we will first have to do something about progress” (Richard Swenson M.D.) Do you agree with the author that 21st century reliance on progress, materialism and the demands of success have stolen away margin in our lives? Explain your answer. In what particular area of your life (emotional, physical, financial, or time) do you believe margin has been stolen from you? How and when did you recognize this, and how has it affected your quality of life? What could you change to regain some margin in your life? Consider the spiritual significance and wisdom of maintaining a reserve that we find in Jesus”s parable regarding the virgins who were warned to trim their lamps? “”And the foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” 9 But the wise answered, saying, “Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.” 10And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut” ( Mathew 25:1-13). Applying this to your own circumstances, what does it mean to “trim your lamp”? C.S. Lewis wrote, “In God there is no hunger that needs to be filled, only plenteousness that desires to give.” How is contentment essential to maintaining your margin? Read Hebrews 13:5 and consider how to apply its principle at work or in your personal life.

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Exodus 34:21; Deuteronomy 5:21; Mathew 11:29; Hebrew 4:11; Philippians 4:11; 1 Timothy 6:8

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