Monday, November 4, 2013

"Mind Your Business"

Early American coins had "Mind Your Business" on them. I used to wonder why it was there, so I thought about it.

There are people, as everyone knows, who won't mind their own business, and are continually sticking their noses into other people's lives.

I am reminded of a comedian who make the joke about retired people, apparently with nothing else to do, who spend their lives looking through their drapes: "What's the cat doing here?!? He lives on the street over!"

I have met people who do this. Years ago, in college, I drove a taxi, and once when I parked on a street, I came back to find a cop car by by my car. I asked him if there was a problem, and he said someone had called the police because a cab was parked in front of their house...on a public street. He appeared a little annoyed and simply drove away.

People who are continually sticking their noses in other people's lives feel justified in doing so. Self-righteous. "I am right and you are wrong."

These people are barely tolerable, unless they get some sort of power over others. Since they have no sense, they can't handle any authority. It goes to their head. They think they are the proverbial Big Fish in Little Pools. (My experience has been they are Little Fish in Little Pools.)

So, then, sticking your nose into other people's business (i.e. violating their boundaries and not even knowing and instead justifying and rationalizing it) is part and parcel of being unable to handle authority.

This being "unable to handle" authority is one of the reasons I am amused at those people who say, "We just need to get the right people in office." The worst people are those who run for office...because they are always sticking their noses into others' business, rationalizing it ("All tyrants call themselves benefactors") and then showing themselves to be not only incompetent, but destructive.

All of these things have been noticed for a long time...thus the saying on those coins.

That saying should be resurrected.

Of course, if the word "God" is on our modern coins, I prefer to see stamped on them, "Mind Your Business or God Will Get You."

1 comment:

Herb Nowell said...

A parallel is my attempt to describe what a lot of people want changed about the current government.

I'm barely old enough to remember seeing movies that had the line, "Don't make a federal case out of it". Being just a touch older than me I suspect you might have heard it actually said.

Of course, today, there is nothing from how much water to flush to what constitutes the rules of golf (something that has an actual SCUS ruling) to what kind of health insurance you must buy, that isn't the subject of a federal law or court case.

Yet, while the Federal Government was busy minding my business it wasn't minding it's own enough to catch the 9/11 attackers even with plenty of evidence. In 1941 the New Deal government, busy minding any business but national defense, was too busy to see Pearl Harbor coming even though my grandfather, and most of his shipmates, had sent their wives and children home to the continental US by the end of the summer because they knew what was coming.

How many of these busy bodies absorbed in mind our business fail in the second meaning of the phrase, "mind your business"? It is not just an admonition to leave me alone but to take care of yourself. Yet it seems those most interested in "taking care of me" can't even care for themselves.

Perhaps "mind your business" need to apply to them in both sense.