If there is anything I have learnt living in Denmark for the past 5 years is how to mind my business.
The other day, while waiting to take the train, I spotted this lady with two big luggage’s.
Seeing her brought back memories about my own travel to Denmark and I couldn’t help but wonder if this was her first time here. The train arrived and she struggled with getting on it with the luggage’s. You could clearly see she needed help.
No one close to her raised a finger, not even the cute blond haired guy I was eyeing, standing directly in front of the train door. I walked up to her and helped her take it in, and she was so grateful.
I love minding my business, in fact I can do it so well. This girl does not have that energy to meddle in people’s lives as I have enough on my plate as it is.
But there is a line, from where it can descend into outright unkindness.
As an African, it would have been strange some years back if someone told me they did not know who lived next door to them, but that is my life now and its absolutely fine and peaceful.
When I first arrived, I lived in a student community and I had a network of fellow students all living in the same building. We constantly interacted and almost every week organized different activities to carry out together in the building.
Exam periods were not left out, because we studied together and had people in higher classes who were studying the same course, and could put us through in different areas.
Then I moved to another student apartment, and that is where I started to have the first taste of what it was to “mind your business”.
We would pass each other in the hallways without so much as a hi.
At first, I would say hi, especially if I have seen a person several times, but I came to learn it wasn’t necessary.
Even then, it was not so bad because I had select group of friends in the building I related with, and we even ate together almost every evening.
But one experience I had stands out. I worked as a student and that morning, I was late to work. Something about staying up late chatting with my then crush and reaping the reward of not sleeping early…
So I drove my bike James Bond style, because I needed to catch up with the ferry. It moved at specific times and since my job was on an Island, the ferry was the only way I could get there.
I knew that if I missed the ferry at that time slot, I would be late, and aside minding my business, Denmark has also taught to me to be very time conscious.
Imagine me James Bonding on a bike I just learnt to ride less than a year ago, I was indeed testing my limits. And yeah I was rewarded.
With the wind blowing in my face, I was on top of the world. I turned a sharp corner and the next thing I knew, I found myself on the ground face down.
Started from the top now we are…
Ladies and gentlemen, when people tell you they see stars, believe me, it’s true. I saw them that day in different colors, and I did not need a telescope. Very beautiful stars and they were moving.
I could feel blood dripping down from different areas on my face, like someone opened a faucet on my face. I had on a white sweater and it was getting stained.
At this point, I did not know what had broken. One voice in my head kept telling me, “your mouth has split open and your face is disfigured. Now all this your ‘shakara’ will end, good for you”.
Ah, bad market for me, my bride price has still not yet been payed. It would be worthy of mention, that this was my second major bike accident. The forces that be have been fighting to reduce that price, but my head is stronger…
I was also worried about my bike. My one and only love who was yet to fail me. We had gone through some pretty cool times together and we had formed a soul connection. It was somewhere in the bush chilling.
Anyway, Now comes the interesting part.
The pathway I fell, was usually lonely and very few people used it especially at that time of the day.
Then I heard footsteps approaching, and I was relieved. At least I could get help, even if it was just to stand up, because at this point, my bum was glued to the ground.
I waited patiently as the footsteps approached and walked right past me. Seriously? yeah…
Whoever it was, seemed to slow down a bit as if pricked by a little bit of guilt, and then kept right on walking. I was shocked. Talk about uncommunicated expectations.
Admittedly, I didn’t shout, help me. I don’t even think I could then because I was scared of my lips falling off.
But hey…, did I have to?… Didn’t they see me lying on the floor with blood dripping down?
Ladies and Gentleman, that is how you mind your business in a negative way.
Well, I did get help afterward. Called a friend, who called a taxi and I was taken to the hospital. I had busted my upper lip and broken my nose a little, got the lip stitched and the nose healed on its own.
Thankfully, I am still a fine girl. Broken nose and stitched lip and all, isn’t God good? Yes he is.
So passerby is forgiven. Don’t know if it was a male or female onto this day, because the stars had not fully cleared from my eyes then.
Anyway the point of my story is that, as you go about minding your business today, make sure to help a fallen soul with busted lips. You can still mind your business while helping out someone who needs the help.
Thanks for coming to my ted talk.