‘If everybody minded their own business, the world would be a better place to live.’ I am paraphrasing a quote from Ramana Maharishi. I came across this quote a few years ago, and like all things with unfinished business, it stayed with me.
When you hear this quote – Mind Your Own Business, what comes to your mind. I should focus on what I need to do and not worry about others. The real question is, do you know if what you are focusing on is your business? At the apparent level, we know that anything that has nothing to do with us is not our business like anything to do with our neighbours, the park across from the street etc., the name of a retail company, traffic lights. We may have opinions about them, but that is different from our business.
Can the same be said about our thoughts which become a reality? What we think – that is also our business right. Now, the content of our thoughts is the crux of the matter here. Let’s look at a few examples:
Dad thinks his kids should listen to him
Spouse thinks their partner should respect him
Kids believe that their parents should love them
Employers believe their employees should be high performers
Employees think they should get a promotion
The list is endless, but the question here – is this your business? Whose business is it if the kids should listen or not? It is the kids business. Similarly, it is the partner’s business to respect their spouse. Anything that we think that other people should do is their business. It is not our business to decide if our kids/partners should do the dishes. It is not my business whether my husband wants to spend time with me or not. It’s up to him. We can, of course, suggest things but what they do is their business.
Unfortunately, in today’s society and collective mind, it is common to be in other people’s business so much of the time that we do not mind our own business. Let’s say you expect your husband to spend time with you because you are lonely. Now, whose business is where a person spends his time – that person’s undoubtedly. We may want or need a lot of things, but the reality is that it is the husband’s business to do what he wants with this time.
But, the wife spends all her time thinking about what her husband should do, that she rarely thinks about – Is she spending enough time with herself? or Is she spending time with her husband?. If she is so busy thinking about her husband spending time with her, nobody is spending time with her husband, and nobody is spending time with her—no wonder both of them are feeling lonely.
This may seem a little convoluted because we assume that husbands should spend time with their wives. Is that true? The only business that wives can focus on is theirs – are they spending time with themselves, their husbands. And surprisingly, once they start focusing on their business – they will realize that husbands are also spending time with them. Because life is a projection of ones own internal thoughts.
Whose business are you minding?