• Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman

It's Time to Mind Everyone Else's Business



I’ve always found it difficult to overhear other people’s difficult conversations in restaurants (or anywhere, for that matter).


Somebody recently asked me why, so I told them this story:


One Christmas when I was a kid, my family and I went to a Chinese restaurant (as good Jews do).


When a man at the next table started choking, my father, who is not a doctor or paramedic, jumped up, ran over to him, and did the Heimlich.


When the guy recovered, he looked at my father and said, “Thank you very much.”


If my father had minded his own business, the guy might have died.

This taught me that helping people is my business. Stepping in is my business.

This taught me that helping people is my business. Stepping in is my business.

But the story that our culture teaches is, “mind your own business.”


Does this mean that if somebody is speaking disrespectfully to another person at a bar, you shouldn’t step in?


The whole concept of mind your own business protects inappropriate behavior and helps perpetrators.


(“Don’t tell me how to treat the server.” “Don’t tell me how to behave with my children.” “Don’t tell me how to behave with my wife.”)


What if it was everybody’s business to step-in?


If anything, with the current situation, we need to be minding other people’s business. Think about the elderly couple who might not have any food. The person across the hall who lives alone. Your friend who’s having a difficult time.

If anything, with the current situation, we need to be minding other people’s business. Think about the elderly couple who might not have any food. The person across the hall who lives alone. Your friend who’s having a difficult time.

We have to step in and find ways to help without worrying that we’re intruding, for their sake and for ours.


Why?


Because in my humble opinion, “mind your own business” is not a healthy way to be a human.