There are some nouns that come when you hear the words “mind your business”- intruder, pokenose, busybody, meddler, marplot. We have had a lot of memes that arose from minding your business like “Good morning, don’t forget to drink and mind your business’ or “when you are on your own lane, there is no traffic”. Well, if you live in a busy city, you know that this may only be true on an early Sunday morning or in a lockdown. These words when spoken are intended to communicate a restraining order to the perceived meddler.
Dr. Louise Finlayson – a psychologist defines minding your own business in her blog, how minding your business helps you grow “as focusing on what you can control and letting go of what you can’t. It is taking responsibility for your own thoughts and actions and letting other people take responsibility for theirs. While this definition may seem simple and clear enough, in my opinion, minding one’s business starts from knowing one’s business. One must be able to identify what one’s business is to stay within its perimeter. Therein lies the difficulty.
What actually is our business? I will attempt to define this using my role as a mother. In this role, my children are my main business, by extension, everything that affects their growth and development, mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing is my business. This means that it is my business to know what happens in their school, the curriculum, their values, etc. It is also my business to know what entertainment channels they are exposed to and what the programs the channel offers. Who are their friends, where do they come from, what kind of families they have? I am sure by now we get the drift. If I am knowledgeable about all these then I am minding my business.
In this age and time, I don’t think we mind our business enough. There is a need to revisit this phrase and actually mind our business. How much do you know about the different roles you play? As an employee, do you know what economic impact your organization has on the country? Are you concerned about your environment? Are you interested in how your role in the organization affects the big picture? As a mother, what are your children learning at school? Who are their influencers? Is your spouse happy at work or is he/she prefer to quit and why? What are the lawmakers saying and how does it affect you?
According to the American operatic tenor Robert Breault, “There is a lot of not caring that goes under the name of minding your own business”. People tend to use this phrase as a cover for ignorance, mediocrity, and dodging collective responsibilities. In as much as we would like to actually stay in our lane, we should not ignore the impact of other road users in our life journey because if they decide to misuse the road, you will be affected. There is a difference between knowing about how someone’s activity affects you and actually meddling.
Permit me to close this with the words of Mary Stewart, the British novelist,
“It seems to me you can be awfully happy in this life if you stand aside and watch and mind your own business, and let people do as they like about damaging themselves and one another. You can go on kidding yourself that you are impartial and tolerant and all that, then all of a sudden you realize that you are dead and you have never been alive at all”.
That been said, how well are you minding your business?