Meddling: Where is the line?

via Daily Prompt: Meddle 

I saw a prompt for the word “meddle” and I thought I’d give it a shot.

This topic kind of ties into a video I saw online yesterday. Basically, a man (an actor) would sneak up behind a woman (also an actor) in the middle of a busy area and grab her while she screamed. He put a cloth over her face and she would “pass out” and he would pick her up and carry her away somewhere. The result of the video was that almost no one helped this woman as they watched her get kidnapped. There were some obvious problems with this pseudo-experiment like the fact that chloroform would not actually knock someone out in one second flat, and maybe to someone who wasn’t staring during that one second it might have looked more like she passed out/got hurt on her own and the man was helping her. Still, it led me to ponder an important question:

When is an action just meddling and when is it your duty to help?

If someone was kidnapping me in broad daylight, I would like to think that someone would try to help me. I would not consider that meddling. So it surprised me when at the end of the video the man asked some bystanders why they didn’t help and the general response was that it “wasn’t their business”. Wasn’t your business?! If you were being kidnapped, I’m sure you would want me to make it my business, lady. But regardless, this is really how some people think. I understand not wanting to put yourself in danger in this specific situation, but still. Where is the line?

When does someone else’s business become your own?

Is it when a third party is involved? Do they need to be a family member? If someone is cheating on their wife, is it your duty to tell the wife or would that just be “meddling”? Would it make a difference if that wife was your best friend? Your sister? If you were a server and a pregnant woman ordered a glass of wine, would you smile and give it to her or would you tell her she shouldn’t be drinking while pregnant? Should that baby’s well-being be any of your concern or if that strictly the mother’s business?

I don’t have the answer to these questions. I generally believe in truth and justice above all else and yeah, I’m that person who would rat out a cheating spouse, but I know a lot of people who wouldn’t dare.

What do you think? Where’s the line between meddling and duty?

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One thought on “Meddling: Where is the line?

  1. Ooh, this is a tricky one! It really would depend on the situation, but I think I’d just have to consider what would happen if I were in the position of whether to meddle and I didn’t (would there be a more negative outcome compared to whether I did something?) Very thought-provoking post because you’re right, it’s a fine line! x

    Liked by 1 person

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