In yesterday’s post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog, Jack talked about becoming involved with other people’s lives with this quote – “Hey, I found your nose. It was in my business again.” (Unknown)
Jack went on to mention that he has been involved in a few “interventions” that involved substance abuse. So, when is it OK to “stick your nose in?” Certainly, I would think, not in casual situations. If you overhear a conversation between strangers during which something is said that you feel strongly about, take Archie Bunker’s advice (usually to Edith, his wife on the TV show) and “stifle yourself”. Nobody likes to hear the advice or opinions of that type of busybody; so keep them to yourself.
But, what if it is a situation where a good friend of yours is involved? Maybe it is a domestic violence situation or some other marital problem. Maybe it’s not something that dramatic, but just a situation in which you feel that your advice may help. What then? I think it best to ask before you advise. Ask if you can help. Ask if they think that there is some value in you sharing your opinion or experiences in similar situations. Basically, you should ask permission to stick your nose into their business. Based upon the response that you get to asking, your nose should be able to tell you whether to go ahead or back off.
So, what about those so-called “interventions”? In most cases interventions are not something that the targeted person has asked for. Most will initially take the position that they don’t want or need your help. Some may make very persuasive arguments that they have everything under control and don’t need or want you to stick your nose into their business. That can put you in a tough spot, especially if you consider them to be a friend. You don’t want to lose a friend, but you can’t just stand by and do nothing as they spin out of control. In those cases, your nose will tell you that you are doing the right thing, even if your friend doesn’t appreciate it at the time.
In the worst-case scenario, you may have to turn your friend into the authorities to prevent them from harming themselves or others. We have unfortunately become too much of a “don’t snitch” society and too little of a “friends don’t let friends commit crimes” society. Think of it this way – your friend has been possessed by a demon and needs help to escape its grasp. That demon may be drug addiction or depression or any number of other things that can pervert the thinking of the victim. I wrote about demons not too long ago – see https://normsmilfordblog.com/2018/02/03/which-demons-live-within/
In some cases you become “nose dead” to the things going on around you. It’s not that you have gone over to the bad side, it’s actually worse – you’ve become apathetic. The enemy of good is not bad; it is apathy. If you find yourself just not caring about the things that are wrong that you see going on around you, perhaps it is time for a self-intervention. Perhaps you are seeking permission for yourself, before you stick your nose in. Open your bible and find it there. There are tons of references in the bible about doing things for others, but the most direct is this one – “do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” – Philippians 2:4
What are the interests of other? Your nose knows; trust it to lead you in the right direction. Don’t be a busybody, be a good friend. “The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.” – Proverbs 12:26
When in doubt, in the words of Froot Loops Toucan Sam – “Follow your nose.”