Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Irena Kieszkowski

(Polish Proverb)


The drama that just landed on your lap is not your circus and those are not your monkeys.

We all have our own circus and our own monkeys and there is no need to embrace, borrow, or adopt somebody else’s. There just isn’t. Life offers real drama and its dangerous to get involved with a travelling company of freaks and trapeze artists when we don’t have to.

But we do don’t we?

Somehow, some way, somewhat unbecoming of who we are and what we want, we get involved in other peoples lives when we have no business doing so. This doesn’t mean we can’t be empathetic in sharing their pain but very often our involvement only complicates matters and amplifies things that don’t need amplification. It is important to internalize this wise Polish Proverb and know when to speak, when to be silent, when to act, and when to do nothing at all.

Time is a very limited currency that governs our lives. The reason we need to mind our own business as much as possible is because we are very apt to engage our energy and waste our time solving something that will never be solved by us, because we have no business being whoever we are being in the first place.

This doesn’t mean that there are not times we have to get involved. Absolutely. There are times when we have to think of the greater good and intervene. It’s our duty as people to help one another. We share the same earth, the same resources and the same DNA.

But we’re not talking about helping an abused child, an alcoholic, or a new immigrant. We are talking about a circus. Events that are full of pomp and circumstance, full of grits and glamour, and a lion, an elephant, oh my.

Other peoples drama will rob you of something very important. Time and energy to do what you have to do, and don’t forget that you’re not in this alone. Time and energy robbed from you, is time and energy robbed from everyone that is dependent on you. And there is no reason for any of it. There is no reason to be involved with any circus, of any kind at any time.

You need to be wise and notice when that tent gets pitched. You have to learn to hear those spikes being nailed into the ground. You have to hear the roar of the lion and smell the burning ring inside the drama.

Save yourself heartache and disillusionment. Let the circus in other people’s lives remain a circus in their lives. It’s not yours. Tend to yours. Tend to your monkeys and let the other monkeys run wild and free.