Mind Your Own Business!

Ed, my neighbor next door, and I can agree on a few things, but often it gets down to head shaking, muttering and the feeling between us both that the thinking of the other one is off track or derailed all together. We just went through another mean snowstorm and it seemed to blow some snow through Ed’s one ear and out the other. It was like there was nothing there when I told him the green garbage bags and boxes on our porch were to be picked up by the Community Living truck. “Why are they picking your stuff up – did you sell it to them?”

“No, they ask for donations of household articles and clothes and people give them what they want to contribute,” I explained to Ed. He, of course, thought it would be better to have a garage sale with such stuff in the spring and make some money rather than just give it away. “Sometimes a person has to almost give their stuff away in a garage sale to get rid of it. When you give to a charity like Community Living, it helps those who need it. Most of us have things and clothes we never use and they are still in good shape, so others might as well make use of them,” I said.

Ed, muttered, “Why don’t you be totally silly and give them the shirt off your back and see how you make out freezing in the winter weather?”

“That would be summertime giving – for this time of year unloading unused clothes from my dresser was enough,” I grunted back at Ed.

Sometimes, Ed and I just get snapping and snarling at each other with no particular effort. Ed informed me that he gets tired of people always asking for a donation to this or that. Someone always has a hand out and their hand is not going into his pockets. According to Ed, the world would be better off if there was no help offered at all. The tiresome do-gooders like me, who give to help others, only make things worse instead of better! People should learn to mind their own business, unless it directly affects them. Ed ended with, “Preachers, like you, Ray, need to quit yapping about the need to do good!”

Ed listened to my reply shaking his head in disagreement at my words. I said, “There will always be people in need and the chance to help is often resented and refused by many. Sometimes, helping others hurts, as some people can and do take advantage of the help given. However, minding one’s own business isn’t always positive. Should people be left alone? In the recent gang rape case in India, the victim and her friend were both left at the side of the road beaten, naked and bleeding. It took over two hours on a busy public street before anyone would help them. People are capable of doing both great good and great evil. Good, as I see it, means that the blood of Jesus purifies us from our sins so that we would do good to others as Jesus did good to us. Is it good if we are focused on our own good, minding our own business and ignoring the needs of others?”


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