There is a widespread belief that minding one’s business is the best way to live a peaceful life.
But I believe there is an extreme application of this, that many people adopt, and it comes with implications sometimes. Let me drive my point home with this true life story.
So, there was a young and vibrant lady in the neighborhood where I lived in Abuja. She was living alone in her apartment and the building had 4 other apartments.
According to her neighbors, she never for once had a reason to say hi or hello to anyone on the premises. Even if she drives in and happens to see a neighbor walk by, she just passes by and walks straight into her apartment. When you greet her, all you get is a murmur in the name of response.
Whenever her car blocks another tenant’s car from going out due to the limited parking space, it’s the gateman who goes to knock on her door to come to get it sorted.
No single neighbor has her phone number. They told her a WhatsApp group was created by the neighbors just to disseminate information among them once in a blue moon but she refused to be a part of it, saying it was not necessary.
This was the norm for about one year and everyone already accepted her kind of person.
But one fateful day, things took a different turn; she almost lost her life.
She returned home one Sunday evening after stepping out with some friends and locked herself indoors as usual.
By the next morning which was a Monday, her car was obstructing another neighbor who needed to rush to work. They sent the gateman as usual to her apartment. He knocked for over 20 minutes without a response.
They had to call the caretaker to help reach her thinking she slept off or left home without her car. He said he was not in town and could only get her contact from his office files.
It became worrisome because, by that time, three other tenants were stuck. They had to leave furiously and find other means of going to work.
The caretaker had to come around later in the day to intervene. He called her severally and at some point she struggled to pick up her phone sounding like someone in serious discomfort.
They suspected she must be within the house but in a terrible state. They went ahead to force the door open and saw her rolling on the kitchen floor and could barely speak up.
They had to rush her to the hospital in a cab and contacted her family members. It was later discovered she had her food poisoned when she spent time with her friends the previous day.
I’m not encouraging jumping into every neighbor’s space or being a nuisance where you live, but basic relationship ethics won’t kill you. A “good morning” or “good night” won’t take anything away from you.
Why will you be living in a house where you don’t have contact with your neighbors? Are they, not your first contact when you are in distress?
Some people might say those who live abroad mind their business, but do you know they have a functional distress management system for everything over there?
In this clime of ours, your neighbor is a very important part of your life and you can’t afford to be extreme with the mentality of “I like to mind my business”.
Remember, to every rule, there are exceptions.
Learn to live cordially and happily with people because you never can tell what blow life might deal you.
This content is written by Olumide Abimbola.