Personally, the best thing about the term ‘lifestyle’ is that it explains itself – ‘Life’ and ‘style’. It simply translates to a person’s style of living. How you live your life is totally your business as it revolves around you. When your lifestyle becomes my business, it leaves your control.
How does this happen?
When your lifestyle becomes my business is when I am directly or indirectly involved. Here are some direct ways I am involved.
As your family
This is seen as the first stage of socialization. The moment you are born into a family, you become a representative of that family. Just by being related to you, your family is directly affected by your choices. I have seen cases where a family member is arrested or killed for a relative’s offence. Maybe I’m being too extreme.
I remember being slapped because my elder sister was a very mean prefect when she was still in school and I could not fight back as the issuer of that slap was also a school prefect. Well, she had a younger sister coming up and I couldn’t just wait to be school prefect.
As your friend
I used to have this roommate in my university days. She was very beautiful and as beautiful as she was, she was very stubborn. In a school where cultism thrived, I was like a fish in dirty water.
To cut the story short, I had to move out of that room. I was in my room one night when I had an unexpected visit.
Apparently, she had insulted him when he asked for her digits and he traced her back to my room. She didn’t sleep in the hostel that night but I was made to prepare noodles for 10 guys to appease them.
As your wife
“He came home late at night oozing of alcohol and when I complained, I got this!” Bola cried showing me the bruises on her body. Bola, 25, is a mother of three who has been living with Richard since he got her pregnant for their first child, Dennis. She had to marry him to save face as they called it.
I weep sometimes when I remember how beautiful Bola was in school. I used to be slightly jealous that she was getting more attention than I was but I was happy I had a beautiful friend to roll with. All excitement dropped when she met Richard and physical abuse has been the story since that time.
As your child
I always wonder why two people will agree to bring a child to this world and not be committed to raising that child properly. I’m not born with a silver spoon but my dad sacrificed partying, womanizing, shopping, and sometimes, eating – just to send my siblings and me to school. I don’t want to imagine what would have become of us if he had done these things as he didn’t have much.
As your teacher, coach, religious leader, and mentor
The satisfaction of every mentor and teacher is when they realize that their time and effort invested in teaching you were not spent in vain. If I am your mentor and you are not productive, it makes me question my abilities as a mentor and that’s when your lifestyle becomes my business.
As your client/customer
I can’t trust you with my money if you are a very mischievous person. This is why bad publicity is very bad. If I am about to patronize a firm, I check out for reviews about them. When I see more positive than negative comments, I go for it. But if it is the other way around, I go the other way.
As your doctor
I was with my sister at a general hospital where she supplies drugs as a Medical Sales Representative when I saw a doctor raising his voice at a patient for drinking alcohol. People were shocked. Why was the doctor so angry?
He had warned the young man about taking alcohol during his medication and now, he has to start the process all over again.
As your employee
A friend of mine had complained of not receiving salary for close to eight months because the company was facing bankruptcy. “That woman is a shopaholic! She can buy a fly if it is beautiful,” Chima told me when I expressed shock at the state of their company.
It is a good thing to shop no matter how much, but not at the expense of others. It could spell disaster. I have also heard of employees stealing from their bosses to cover for unremitted promised payments for losses they had incurred.
As your employer
Your way of life matters a lot. If you are a kind of person who cannot handle a stable relationship, some employers won’t hand over their companies to you to run. There is this belief that relationships don’t come all rosy just as a business doesn’t. So, if you can handle a stable relationship, you will be patient enough to handle a company.
Also, when your lifestyle becomes my business is when I am involved indirectly. Some instances are;
- When you drive recklessly and cause me to be involved in an accident,
- When I am affected by a decision you make like spending the budget set aside for community growth.
- When you are supposed to curb a menace in the society and I am affected at the long run. For example; you have invested in a cattle rearing business and it is continually causing chaos in different areas of the country, but you choose to turn a blind eye to these things for selfish interests.
- People are being kidnapped, women are being raped, and children are rendered homeless. Fingers are being pointed at this menace but nothing is being done about it as it doesn’t affect you directly.
When your lifestyle becomes my business, I will start living my life to affect yours as well.