Mind Your Own Business

In third grade, I had to sit next to Cesar Lopez, who I did NOT have a crush on. Cesar used to collect pencil shavings to sprinkle on my work and I used to add random periods to his sentences. We were both often in just enough trouble to stay on the teachers radar, but not enough trouble, to be trouble. One day, Cesar was at a special reading class, and I was busy, fixing his sentences. Ms. Nowell looked straight at me, and told me: “Mind your own business.” I was literally confused, I had never heard that phrase before. Was I in trouble? What was I supposed to be doing? I proceeded to start erasing my extra marks from Cesar’s paper, when it was snatched from me: “Mind your OWN business.” Ms. Nowell said again.

And for the rest of the year, Ms. Nowell told me to mind my own business over and over again. She would tell Cesar to mind his own business too, whenever he would pull my hair, or kick my chair. And that’s how life went for two and a half decades. I would hear: “Mind your own business.” and I would translate to: “Leave Cesar alone.”

When I finally figured out (at 30 something years old) that I had been translating mind your own business  WRONGLY for decades, I wanted to kick myself. Mind your own business is such a powerful command, I and had it all wrong. Mind your own business doesn’t mean to leave other people alone! Mind your own business has NOTHING to do with other people. Mind your own business means to pay mind to your own happenings. Take care of your issues. What’s your business? Well then go take care of it!!! Mind your own business isn’t RUDE, its a LOVE command. Mind your own business, just means to pay more attention to yourself.

School could have been so much more productive for me, if I had initially translated “Mind Your Own Business” to “Take care of your own work.” I laugh at all the times I was told to mind my business, so I sat there quietly, not wanting to disturb anyone who was working diligently. I don’t make that mistake any longer. I mind my own business now.


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