leave people to themselves

leave people to themselves
Photo by Ashlyn Ciara / Unsplash
“Learning how to leave people alone and go on with your life is a needed skill. Master it, for the sake of your own dignity and peace of mind.” — Michelle Rogers-Wright

In his private journal, Marcus Aurelius once wrote, “It’s best to leave someone else’s transgression there with him.” Through these words, he was basically reminding himself to focus on his own lane. To not let others’ follies and misdemeanors impact him and sway him from his path.

In our everyday life, many of us get tempted to offer sage advice to others. Rather than minding our own business and resolving our own issues, we interfere in people’s lives while rationalizing that we’re doing so because we have their best interests in our hearts.

But it’s always best to practice the mantra: “Live and let live.”  If you encounter someone taking an immoral route or participating in a self-destructive habit and find it difficult to stop yourself from offering your two cents, tell yourself, “It’s their problem, not mine, so I’ll not let it affect me.” Refrain from correcting them, coaching them, or worse criticizing them.  

Keep in mind that progressing in the journey of philosophy and bettering yourself requires unwavering determination and single-pointed focus. Embracing and embodying the art of living isn’t about judging others. It isn’t about projecting the lessons you learn and enforcing them onto the world. Nope! On the contrary, it’s about internalizing them and letting them influence your own thinking and behavior.

This is what Marcus Aurelius meant when he wrote: “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.” Your goal must be to live a good and virtuous life. Not only will it enhance your circumstances, but it will also enable you to make a meaningful impact on the lives of people around you. Because you then guide them through your example, not through your words. As Mahatma Gandhi put it, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Be open to the idea that you will encounter individuals who will be slackers, wrongdoers, lawbreakers, scam artists, or anything else. Let them be. That’s their business, that’s their life.  Plus that’s something not within the realm of your control.

You only have control over what you do. Therefore, your priority must be to be disciplined with yourself and your reactions. That’s it!

Leave other people to themselves. You have enough battles to fight, you have enough shortcomings to tackle, you have enough vices to worry about. So, detach from others and their choices and be strict with yourself.