MYOB

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
Life lesson/experience in writing

Submitted: February 25, 2020

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Submitted: February 25, 2020

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Kids are in the phase of “MYOB” (Mind your own Business) to each other when they don’t want to answer each other. When I first heard them, it took me down the memory lane to my teens in India when I always felt to say “MYOB” to anyone (except immediate family) who tried to judge/lecture/preach me, more in these lines “Why can’t people mind their own business? They interfere in everything and always interested in others’ lives?”.

After listening to me say that few times at home, my Dad asked me- ” Why do you feel that way about society? Is it your opinion or observation?” and I gave silly teen answer “It is my opinion based on observation”. Then, he asked me to share my observations that affected me to make that statement. I would go on and on complaining about things (Newspaper and Gossip knowledge)- but he is not convinced since “those things didn’t affect me”.

He never argued on “right, wrong or different” about my opinion and here is how he made me think later through an interesting circumstance.

I used to have a Kinetic Luna Super (motor scooter) in my Junior, Senior years which I used to feel like a “Harley”. The maximum speed limit might be 25-30 mph and depending on road/traffic conditions I am at 15-20 mph and of course got the reputation that I drive fast.

I came home from college one day to an upset mom where all she said was “Keep the Luna keys there and you are not going anywhere on Luna till we give you permission”. I understood I am grounded but didn’t dare to ask her and she continued- “So and so Uncle came home and informed that you are driving Luna too fast and passed him at least 5 times past week like a twirling wind and you are almost hit by city bus today.” My immediate reaction was- “Oh, that’s the reason you are upset. By the way which road did he see me, where did I cross, what is the city bus number? BTW, why can’t he just care about himself and his family blah blah blah…”

Me reacting that way didn’t help at all and made it worse with rantings of all the people that complained about my driving and ended with – “Let us wait for Dad to be home and discuss about your driving and attitude.” Guess what- Despite mom earing all this to Dad, there is no reaction or words from him. I assured myself that I have the COOLEST DAD ever and I also got my keys back.

One fine morning later in that week, I was reading Newspaper and he asked me what is the news in centerspread? I said a 17-year old college going girl died in an accident hit by city bus and I continued sympathy with big words like “life is unpredictable, city bus drivers are ridiculous etc.”

My dad in very casual tone- “You are so upset the other day that one of our family friends came to tell us about your fast driving and it is none of his business.  Let us think from your shoes- “Why did he come all the way home- just to complain?”

I am quiet and he continued – “Because he doesn’t want to see you in that centerspread page, which means he cares for you and our family. He reacted to the thought that came to his mind to tell us so that it keeps you safe. He didn’t think about anything else. You analyzed and mis read that person whom you know for a long time even it is in best interest of you.”

You know what, the reason behind that is your thought process. You totally deviated from the fact “You are driving fast” to being upset about “someone complained about ME” because it will defend your made-up opinion about society.

It is very normal to blame/judge others and it is typical human reaction. But do some self- introspection at least later. We all are “after all, nothing” if we cannot see our own existence in “civilized society”. You are the “only” reason for your own deeds and no one is responsible for it. Whenever you say “why can’t they take care of themselves (one extreme) or no one cares for me (other extreme)” you are making yourself unique/great and expecting everyone to react on how you expect. At the same time “You don’t have to care for any Tom, Dick and Harry’s words, but give it a thought for near and dear.”

Let’s think through this “Speeding may or may not be the case in this girl’s case and anyone can judge/analyze/sympathize for a while, but she is not coming back. When things like this happen, it is always the people who are left behind that must go through the pain and it’s unimaginable what that girl’s family must be going through now”

This whole conversation made me think little bit. It doesn’t mean I completely transformed and never felt (or) said “MYOB” later. I slowed down little bit on my driving and stopped to judge and listen to people firsthand. I am looking forward to share this story with kids one day.


© Copyright 2020 Smitha Guntupalli. All rights reserved.

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