I WISH YOU WOULD MIND YOUR OWN DAMN BUSINESS!
Check out the “Mind Your Own Business T Shirt which is object three from the “What the Hell is Your Problem Kit? A Kit for Uptight White People”. I think that in general, we anglos are terribly shy, and that is why we are so busy minding our own business so that terrible things happen! Bombs get planted, but no one notices the odd person who planted the bomb, because we are so busy not sticking our nose where it is not wanted. People die, old and lonely in their houses, and no one even notices till a terrible smell comes from the house. We are too busy “minding our own business”, and oh yes, these the other notions we have which seem strange to people from other cultures. “Respecting each other’s privacy”, and “Not getting involved”. Not getting involved is a favourite one in my family, and I am constantly getting in trouble for actually getting chatting with strangers. Listening to their stories, discussing what they have growing in their garden doesn’t seem problematic to me. In fact, it seems to gain me many favours, such as gifts of fresh vegetables from gardens, interesting stories, and invitations to nice parties. You only live once.
When I was a young kid, my Aunty Joyce often told me off and found me annoying for asking about things. “You are just trying to be smart” She would say. No wonder I have found it a bit challenging to shake my “uptightness” despite my determination to do so. Oh yes, and the best one of all was when I worked at a well known University here in Melbourne, with a staffroom full of incredibly stuffy white people (they still all work there by the way). They all believed in “Minding Their Own Business”, and a few of them didn’t even tell the rest of the staff when they got married. Of course, I was always in trouble for “not respecting people’s sense of space”. You could have laid dead in that staff room for 2 weeks and no one would have blinked:)
If you are interested in finding out more, have a look at the book I wrote. This was my final masters project in cross disciplinary design at UNSW.