“Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.” ~Thomas a Kempis
Why do we allow ourselves to get so caught up in the lives of others? Perhaps I am upset with so and so for certain lifestyle, conduct, decision. Or maybe I am angry at my child for not pursuing something I felt they should. But as Thomas cleverly points out, I have a difficult enough time becoming who I wish to be, so why even bother with worrying about making someone else who I wish them to be.
I recall my parents telling me to “mind my own business” a time or two as a child. They were not just trying to keep me from things they felt I should not be dealing with, but were also trying to teach me a valuable lesson in life: that life is much more satisfying, fulfilling, and pleasing when we mind our own business. Concerning myself in the affairs of others, trying to help them avoid mistakes, and trying to control their actions, needlessly wastes my energy and potential. Their lives are their lives to live… and their choices are their choices to make.
Internal harmony is achievable when we quietly and calmly invest ourselves in our own matters, thus freeing our mind, body, and spirit from external worries. So as your parents may have told you before, “Sit still and mind your own business.”
Do not allow the decisions of others to cause you grief or worry today.
Questions to consider:
Do you spend much time worrying about what others are doing, and whether they may be making mistakes that could be avoided?
How easy is it for you to quietly relax and enjoy the peace of silence and inactivity?
What are some benefits of allowing others to make their own mistakes? What are some harms? What happens to their personal growth and learning experience if you help them avoid mistakes?
For further thought:
“Study to be quiet, that is, to dismiss all bustle and worry out of your inward life. Study also to do your own business, and do not try to do the business of other people. A great deal of fleshly activity is expended in trying to do other people’s business. It is often very hard to sit still when we see our friends mismanaging matters, according to our ideas, and making dreadful blunders. But the divine order, the best human order, is for each of us to do our own business and to refrain from meddling with the business of anyone else.” ~Hannah Whitall Smith