We are living in the era of the busybody. In ancient Greece, if a person wanted guidance, it involved a long, arduous expensive journey to consult the oracle at Delphi. Today, if you want guidance, all you have to do is unplug your ears. — Margo Kaufman

The beauty of being a busybody is you are never bored. 

You set out to “help” or correct some injustice. 

You see a way to do it better. 

You can’t help yourself. 

Maybe you need to get a hobby or learn something new. 


We are living in the era of the busybody. In ancient Greece, if a person wanted guidance, it involved a long, arduous expensive journey to consult the oracle at Delphi. Today, if you want guidance, all you have to do is unplug your ears. — Margo Kaufman

The beauty of being a busybody is you are never bored. 

You set out to “help” or correct some injustice. 

You see a way to do it better. 

You can’t help yourself. 

Maybe you need to get a hobby or learn something new. 


Today I took Bentley for a walk. He’s a little mutt of a mix that won our hearts 10 years ago. We adopted him from a displaced home. If you knew how much I love this little guy you’d laugh at the old lady who thought I was abusing him.

While hiking El Camino de Santiago last year I FaceTimed my dog

Yes, you read that right. 


I didn’t get to the corner of my block before a little old lady from across the street beat a path out her front door to object to me walking my dog. 

Is she so bored with her own life that she watches out her front window to right the social injustices committed by her neighbors? 

I bet she watches often enough to fill a book with the things she sees wrong with the world and how she would correct them while looking out her front window. 

In the interest of full disclosure, it is a sultry 98 degrees and feels like 103. 

Excuse me, excuse me.

I thought she needed help with something. 

Have you taken off your shoes to walk on the hot pavement? 

All sweetness she had disappeared. She’s salty

“Excuse me?” 

Well, the pavement is too hot for you to be walking your dog. It’s too hot on the pads of his bare feet. You might think about that next time. That’s animal abuse. 

“Sure,” I said as I kept walking without looking back. 

Aren’t the pads of his feet made of leather? They are durable. While I wouldn’t want to take him on an extended walk, he still has to poop; okay? 

We are too comfortable and afraid to be a little uncomfortable. 

Entitled

She must not realize that we live three houses down and across the street from one another. It’s easier to be bold with people we don’t know. 

Social media crosses over into real life in these moments. We see it online every day. People arguing with people they don’t know over stupid stuff. 

I wonder if she knows… 

Of course, she doesn’t, but if she did, would it make a difference? 

I doubt it. 

If she knew that these walks are Bentley’s and my special time together she would have left me alone. As I look down at him to assess if he’s in pain I see him smiling and wagging his tail. He’s not whining or pulling the leash to get to the grass. He’s happy. If I knew he was dying we’d take one last poop loop together. 

I say “poop loop” and Bentley smiles and circles under the hook where the leash hangs. He has to poop whether or not it is hot and Bentley only poops on the poop loop. It’s hotter than I would like, but it’s the only time I have to walk him today and if he doesn’t walk he won’t poop. 

Do you want to know my dog’s business? 

Probably not. 

Unhealthy busyness

The encounter got me to thinking about unhealthy busyness. She could be bored or lonely, but her busyness is meddlesome and quarrelsome.

I hear her dogs yipping as I check the mail so I can guess she is a dog person, but she overstepped all polite boundaries. 

Unhealthy busybodies:

  • Ignore boundaries
  • Over-concern themselves with others’ actions
  • Focuses on busywork over productive work

I’m convinced productive busyness is a good thing.

Idle hands are the devil’s playground. 

But, productive busyness is critical to not be a busybody. 

Parenting

Parenting is a different matter. Being a busybody is required in certain circumstances, especially while kids are young. 

It’s important to be involved to rear children into good people and responsible adults while not overindulging to them into wimpy people who live in fear and cannot problem-solve.

There are all kinds of parents: 

  • Authoritarian parenting
  • Authoritative parenting
  • Permissive parenting
  • Uninvolved parenting

Many styles from free-range, to helicopter, to abusive can make or break our kids. 

Let’s begin with a basic premise: They are your children and you know them better and love them more than anyone else on the face of the earth. This doesn’t mean that you’re a perfect parent or that you’ll never make any mistakes, but it means that more than anyone on the earth, you care about the well-being and success of your children and therefore are the best qualified to make decisions on their behalf.

The “experts” who see you at a stressed moment in a store when you lose your cool because you told the kiddos no for the umpteenth time or come unglued because they ask for one more thing at the grocery store are free to judge. 

They pass judgement and they don’t know you. 

In order to be an empowered, confident parent, you must learn to recognize “experts” or family members, overstep their boundaries and dismiss them when they are inappropriate.

If you’ve been stopped by another person in public about your parenting I implore you to…

Trust your instincts and judgement.

Don’t listen to unhealthy busybodies. 

Because it bears repeating (and I wish it didn’t)…

Don’t whiz on the electric fence

Mind your own business. 


Related.

If you’re enjoying this site, thank Nicole. She’s the creative mind behind PublishousNow.com. She’s also the community-building guru who can help you build your own thriving communities online; check out her resources at NicoleAkers.com. If you’re more into health and wellness, Nicole can help there too! Find a wealth of health at WeTalkHealthy.com.
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If you’re enjoying this site, thank Nicole. She’s the creative mind behind PublishousNow.com. She’s also the community-building guru who can help you build your own thriving communities online; check out her resources at NicoleAkers.com. If you’re more into health and wellness, Nicole can help there too! Find a wealth of health at WeTalkHealthy.com.

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