our opinions: CURMUDGEON MUSINGS The Last Word BY MARK BROWN Mind Your Own Business “Great mischief comes from attempts to steady other people’s altars.” — Mary Baker Eddy I t’s been my experience that watch- ing other people make mistakes is one of the most educational experi- ences you can have. Of course, few people have the self-control to shut up long enough in order to glean those valuable pearls of wisdom that can come from observing the mistakes of others. I know a lady who noses into the lives of people she hardly knows. Let me correct myself — actually, she’s not really a lady because a real lady would never nose into the private affairs of others, and would never get involved verbally or otherwise in other people’s business. Prolific author Ethel Mumford once said, “Busy people are never busybodies.” Gauging from that piece of wisdom, this woman must actually have no life whatsoever because it seems her biggest pleasure in life is messing with the lives of other people. What makes somebody do that? Maybe some people get a big kick out of analyzing the lives of others — perhaps it’s like playing a computer game or first person shooter (FPS) games like Call of Duty. People like getting a little of the excitement of being a guerilla fighter without taking the risk. 112 I think busybodies like to live vicariously through others. They like to tell you how to live your life, that you should file for divorce or quit your job and find one where you’re more appreciated. Is it possible because they enjoy making your deci- sions, without facing the consequenc- es of those decisions? It’s got to be more fun than making decisions and living with the fallout, right? Another theory I have is that the recent explosion of social media in our lives and domination of the air waves by so many “experts” might be a big part of the reasons so few people don’t mind their business. Facebook reminds me of the old Hitchcock movie Rear Window. You know, the one where the photogra- pher has a broken leg and has little to do all day and all night except watch his neighbors through his rear window and one night saw something he shouldn’t have seen? With Facebook, people watch their “friends.” Many of them have nothing better to do than to comment on the lives of other people. It’s a very bad habit to form. So Jane Jones comments on Facebook about her husband making a negative remark about her weight. She’ll get 15 “you look beautiful,” and at least five, comments telling her to leave the bum and 20 telling her to buy a weight-loss “solution” sold through a multi-level marketing company. The more time you spend watch- ing “experts” pontificate on television, the more likely you are to wake up one day thinking you are an, “expert.” No one feels free to simply live their lives as they see fit, according to noted author John Lachs. Lachs, whose philosophical inter- ests center on human nature, is the author of Meddling: On the Virtue of Leaving Others Alone (Indiana University Press). I truly understand and I’m sure you do as well that we all have too much to do and handle in our own lives to meddle with other people’s lives. This woman I’m referring to is destructive and selfish. She has hurt others time and time again. So my pet peeve here is don’t do that. Leave other people alone. One good way to stop people like this woman is call them out. Vote them off the island! Anytime you see people doing this, stop them. Refuse to ever see them, in fact instead of voting them off the island let’s put them on an island with all the other big mouth meddlers out there and let them ruin each other’s lives!