Often when we hear or use the term, “Mind your own business,” we orient it to a scenario where a person is snooping around in territory where they do not belong. That’s not what I’m choosing to focus on with this entry. Instead, I want to look at the very literal breakdown of the phrase, as this gives it a whole new meaning that I feel is too often overlooked.
With “mind” being a noun referring to the brain and its processes, doubling as a verb meaning to keep watch over; “your own” being possessive and personal; and “business” referring to affairs, daily dealings, happenings, and in simple terms, “life,” I translate this common phrase to mean that one should keep their focus on the happenings of their own life. Keeping careful watch over one’s own dealings all the time is hard to do – our minds and eyes like to wander. We see what others are doing, what they have, how they approach certain situations, and we allow it to spill over to us. Sometimes this is a good thing. In the classroom and on video I work to motivate people to believe in themselves, to try harder, and to keep going even when they’re on the cusp of giving up. Some people have told me before that this motivates them, and I’m happy that I can inspire someone else to do something just by doing what I do. But not always does watching others work out. Often we can see what others have, what they do, how they approach things, and feel jealousy, sadness, or anger. Far too often, people allow someone else’s actions affect their own when in truth the two events are isolated and independent of each other.
Here’s where the whole “mind your business” mentality is most valuable. I can only speak for my own life, but I can say with 100% certainty that at no given moment is everything in my life completely and utterly harmonious. If it’s not a school crisis, it’s a work crisis. If it’s not a work crisis, it’s a marriage spat. If not my marriage, it’s usually my child’s toddler antics complicating things. If not my child, it’s finances. If not finances, it’s car trouble. If not car trouble, it’s a lack of spirituality, and so on and on and on. My point: there is ALWAYS something for me to focus on in my tiny bubble of existence, and lately, that’s all I’m consumed with. The result? I’m a lot more content.
How can THAT be?
Well, for one, it allows me to stop focusing on other people’s actions and instead keep my focus on my own. Many of the people around me are progressing and receiving blessings and if I gazed upon these events with tunnel vision, I might feel pity for myself. Instead, I’m happy for people being blessed with what they want; I know my own blessings will unfold when they’re due. Some of the people I know are in constant opposition with others and happy to fight about it. The world is one big giant fight over money, oil, power, religion, who’s right, etc. Some of it is meaningful, but most of it is futile. I’d rather just stay in my corner with my beliefs. All in all, shouting from the rooftops about which candidate I’m planning to vote for, my views on Iran and Syria, using social media to purposely offend people, and wearing an anti-abortion T-shirt (when indeed I am not “anti” abortion…) doesn’t really push me closer to the goals I have for myself and my family. My time can be better used.
So you may be wondering why I’m dragging you through some long ass blog post to tell you all about how I basically don’t give a care about the actions of others. Here’s the reason:
Because lately a few other people have shown and told me that my life and actions adversely affect them in some way…and I think that if those folks knew how to mind their own business, they wouldn’t feel this way. My ability to work out has no bearing on anyone else’s ability (or choice?) to do the same. The way my family operates has nothing to do with anybody else’s family. Me being in school has nothing to do with anybody else but me (well, it affects Fabian and Kennedy too, but they aren’t complaining). I’ve chosen lately to talk to God over talking to other people about my troubles, and that, yet again, has nothing to do with anybody but me.
For all the folks out there who have taken it upon themselves to make me their emotional scapegoat in the past year: Mind your own business. And no, I don’t mean quit snooping around in my life, but instead, this is my emphatic plea that you just try concentrating on your own affairs. I’m certain there’s a lot happening in your world that you aren’t paying attention to and you should. Do you…