Answer me this #5

September 26, 2009

in Answer me this

How do you balance “minding your own business” with being helpful?

In other words, what kind of public situation would you intervene in and what kind would you merely observe? And how do you draw the line?

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Guera! April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

I am curious as what has happened recently to prompt you to ask the question.
As for me…I think I would get involved but I don’t know. I hope I would…especially if children or animals or the elderly are at risk and I can do something about it.

Reply

Sheri April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

It would depend on the situation — what was happening, how helpful I thought I could be and who was with me (alone, husband, kids, etc.).

I would also rely on my intuition to see if the person wanted or needed help and if there was anything I could do.

I would also say a prayer for the person no matter how much I physically stepped in…which may be the most powerful thing I could do.

A good question to ponder…

Reply

jill April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

I would say something if I thought it would be helpful to the other person – if someone dropped their wallet or was about to walk onto an icy sidewalk, etc.

Most other situations I would not intervene. If I thought I didn’t know all the details of the situation I would probably just mind my own business.

Reply

Martha April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

I trust my instinct for example, exasperated mom trying to cope w/a tantrum from a 2 y/o, studied polite ignoring.
Exasperated mom about to whack the eff outta her kid, I politely ask, “Anything I can help with?”

Dog locked in car with open windows, snarling, growling-
Get out of the other side of my car and scoot into the store.

Little toy dog trapped in car in 100 degree weather w/no effing windows open, I’m calling Animal Control and breaking the window with my window hammer I keep in the van and that’s that.

Reply

Tara April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

I used to intervene and get involved a lot. I don’t anymore and I think it’s because I’m a mom now. I just want to live my happy life in oblivion and not concern myself with the crazies of the world anymore.

Reply

chicklet April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

I think I’d intervene for sure when the thugs have guns and masks on, cuz that seems like the smartest time to show em what I can really do. And ya know? When the news story comes out about me saving the day, I don’t want it to be some mere old-lady mugging – I want me some good f*g drama.

;-)

Reply

Guera! April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

I am curious as what has happened recently to prompt you to ask the question.
As for me…I think I would get involved but I don’t know. I hope I would…especially if children or animals or the elderly are at risk and I can do something about it.

Reply

Sheri April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

It would depend on the situation — what was happening, how helpful I thought I could be and who was with me (alone, husband, kids, etc.).

I would also rely on my intuition to see if the person wanted or needed help and if there was anything I could do.

I would also say a prayer for the person no matter how much I physically stepped in…which may be the most powerful thing I could do.

A good question to ponder…

Reply

jill April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

I would say something if I thought it would be helpful to the other person – if someone dropped their wallet or was about to walk onto an icy sidewalk, etc.

Most other situations I would not intervene. If I thought I didn’t know all the details of the situation I would probably just mind my own business.

Reply

Martha April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

I trust my instinct for example, exasperated mom trying to cope w/a tantrum from a 2 y/o, studied polite ignoring.
Exasperated mom about to whack the eff outta her kid, I politely ask, “Anything I can help with?”

Dog locked in car with open windows, snarling, growling-
Get out of the other side of my car and scoot into the store.

Little toy dog trapped in car in 100 degree weather w/no effing windows open, I’m calling Animal Control and breaking the window with my window hammer I keep in the van and that’s that.

Reply

Tara April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

I used to intervene and get involved a lot. I don’t anymore and I think it’s because I’m a mom now. I just want to live my happy life in oblivion and not concern myself with the crazies of the world anymore.

Reply

chicklet April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

I think I’d intervene for sure when the thugs have guns and masks on, cuz that seems like the smartest time to show em what I can really do. And ya know? When the news story comes out about me saving the day, I don’t want it to be some mere old-lady mugging – I want me some good f*g drama.

;-)

Reply

Crunchy Green Mom - Suzanne April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

When someone’s actions harm another person.

If they are harming themselves, I would not step in. It doesn’t seem like the right thing… it’s like I would be taking away their right to personal freedom.

In saying that, I realize that is someone was standing on a bridge about to commit suicide, I’d try and stop them.

Good Question

Reply

WiseGuy April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

Ugh…I have burned my own fingers doing this in the past…but I know that given a chance, I am likely to be helpful rather than stick to my nose.

Let’s just say that if I watch somebody beating their wife, or trying to snatch, I may intervene.

A lot would depend also on what I happened to be doing at that instance, or other environmental things…

Reply

Lavender Luz April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

I am so loving all your answers.

Guera! — nothing in particular. It’s something I’ve wondered for awhile.

I tend to use my intuition, too, and to treat people the way I’d like to be treated.

Thank you all!

Reply

Mrs. X April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

I was at a Barnes and Noble a few years ago. There was a sales girl nearby in the children’s section. When she turned around, about the top two inches of her thong were showing. It was not subtle. I casually sidled up to her and said in a low voice, “your thong is showing.” She looked a little shocked and I think headed off to the bathroom.

I know that I would want someone to tell me. That’s about as far as my intervention goes. :)

Reply

awomanmyage April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

As far as I’m concerned, everything in my line of vision is my business, but hubby says otherwise – so I just say stuff when he’s looking the other way.

Reply

areyoukiddingme April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

As a city girl, I tend to wander around as Captain Oblivious. But, since I spend more time at the park and daycare, I am becoming more aware of what’s going on around me (in terms of small children).

I don’t have a line right now, so I’d say I make it up as I go along.

Reply

Crunchy Green Mom - Suzanne April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

When someone’s actions harm another person.

If they are harming themselves, I would not step in. It doesn’t seem like the right thing… it’s like I would be taking away their right to personal freedom.

In saying that, I realize that is someone was standing on a bridge about to commit suicide, I’d try and stop them.

Good Question

Reply

WiseGuy April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

Ugh…I have burned my own fingers doing this in the past…but I know that given a chance, I am likely to be helpful rather than stick to my nose.

Let’s just say that if I watch somebody beating their wife, or trying to snatch, I may intervene.

A lot would depend also on what I happened to be doing at that instance, or other environmental things…

Reply

Lavender Luz April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

I am so loving all your answers.

Guera! — nothing in particular. It’s something I’ve wondered for awhile.

I tend to use my intuition, too, and to treat people the way I’d like to be treated.

Thank you all!

Reply

Mrs. X April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

I was at a Barnes and Noble a few years ago. There was a sales girl nearby in the children’s section. When she turned around, about the top two inches of her thong were showing. It was not subtle. I casually sidled up to her and said in a low voice, “your thong is showing.” She looked a little shocked and I think headed off to the bathroom.

I know that I would want someone to tell me. That’s about as far as my intervention goes. :)

Reply

awomanmyage April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

As far as I’m concerned, everything in my line of vision is my business, but hubby says otherwise – so I just say stuff when he’s looking the other way.

Reply

areyoukiddingme April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

As a city girl, I tend to wander around as Captain Oblivious. But, since I spend more time at the park and daycare, I am becoming more aware of what’s going on around me (in terms of small children).

I don’t have a line right now, so I’d say I make it up as I go along.

Reply

Baby Smiling In Back Seat April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

My mother has a terrible habit of nosey advice-giving to strangers, on a daily basis, so I tend to go the opposite way.

But when there’s something I can do to help, such as holding open a door for someone whose hands are full or chasing after someone who dropped something, I absolutely do it.

I guess I share my instrumental help much more than my wisdom, because strangers who haven’t asked for it may not find my wisdom to be so wise.

Reply

Aunt Becky April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

Awesome question, dude! I’d usually only intervene if I thought that I could actually help. I’m not much of a busy body (I know, I KNOW!) so I’m not all about jumping in where I don’t belong. But helping someone who needs a hand? Absolutely.

Reply

Alana April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

Catching up…

–LOVED your Perfect Moments. How sweet that your son said you help cheer him up!

–Awesome that you got to meet an online/blogger pal in person. Fun!

–Interventions: I usually intervene if it is something that is impacting my daughter. For example, if a child is consistently picking on her at a play yard and THEIR parent isn’t intervening, I might say, “Hey, hitting is NOT okay”

–But generally, I’m quiet and reserved…if I don’t know the person, I try to stay out of their buisness. :)

Reply

Baby Smiling In Back Seat April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

My mother has a terrible habit of nosey advice-giving to strangers, on a daily basis, so I tend to go the opposite way.

But when there’s something I can do to help, such as holding open a door for someone whose hands are full or chasing after someone who dropped something, I absolutely do it.

I guess I share my instrumental help much more than my wisdom, because strangers who haven’t asked for it may not find my wisdom to be so wise.

Reply

Aunt Becky April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

Awesome question, dude! I’d usually only intervene if I thought that I could actually help. I’m not much of a busy body (I know, I KNOW!) so I’m not all about jumping in where I don’t belong. But helping someone who needs a hand? Absolutely.

Reply

Alana April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

Catching up…

–LOVED your Perfect Moments. How sweet that your son said you help cheer him up!

–Awesome that you got to meet an online/blogger pal in person. Fun!

–Interventions: I usually intervene if it is something that is impacting my daughter. For example, if a child is consistently picking on her at a play yard and THEIR parent isn’t intervening, I might say, “Hey, hitting is NOT okay”

–But generally, I’m quiet and reserved…if I don’t know the person, I try to stay out of their buisness. :)

Reply

Kami April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

I have a memory that haunts me to this day. It happened easily 10 years ago. I observed an older gentleman with a (perhaps) shy male kid. They didn’t speak a word to each other as we rode the elevator a few floors together. The kid looked very unhappy.

This could have been grandpa and grandchild. I hope it was and they were just having a bad moment – the kids was about 5, I would guess.

But I will always wonder if this kid had been abducted. My doubts at the time (I’m just being paranoid!) kept me from calling 911. But what if this kid was abducted? Worst case scenario is the pair would have been inconvenienced a bit. I suppose it could have scared the kid a bit too. BUT it could have saved the kids life if it was a bad situation.

If I see something like that again, I will intervene.

Reply

DrSpouse April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

Very interesting topic. I have to say, when I mention to people “oh, I would intervene/help in X situation” I have frequently got really nasty looks or comments, but I’ve never got one from anyone I was helping/intervening with.

For example, parents seem to believe, in principle, only they should discipline their little darlings. But if I see a child on the street doing something they shouldn’t and either a) I can see their parent can’t see or b) they are hurting me/someone smaller (even if it’s just the eardrums), I will comment. No-one has ever called me on telling their child they’ve dropped litter, or saying “oh, you’re TOO LOUD” to their child, or “Be careful! You might get hurt!”.

Reply

Kami April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

I have a memory that haunts me to this day. It happened easily 10 years ago. I observed an older gentleman with a (perhaps) shy male kid. They didn’t speak a word to each other as we rode the elevator a few floors together. The kid looked very unhappy.

This could have been grandpa and grandchild. I hope it was and they were just having a bad moment – the kids was about 5, I would guess.

But I will always wonder if this kid had been abducted. My doubts at the time (I’m just being paranoid!) kept me from calling 911. But what if this kid was abducted? Worst case scenario is the pair would have been inconvenienced a bit. I suppose it could have scared the kid a bit too. BUT it could have saved the kids life if it was a bad situation.

If I see something like that again, I will intervene.

Reply

DrSpouse April 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

Very interesting topic. I have to say, when I mention to people “oh, I would intervene/help in X situation” I have frequently got really nasty looks or comments, but I’ve never got one from anyone I was helping/intervening with.

For example, parents seem to believe, in principle, only they should discipline their little darlings. But if I see a child on the street doing something they shouldn’t and either a) I can see their parent can’t see or b) they are hurting me/someone smaller (even if it’s just the eardrums), I will comment. No-one has ever called me on telling their child they’ve dropped litter, or saying “oh, you’re TOO LOUD” to their child, or “Be careful! You might get hurt!”.

Reply

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