"But what are we to do?" said Susan...
"My dear young lady," said the Professor, suddenly looking up with a very sharp expression at both of them, "there is one plan which no one has yet suggested and which is well worth trying."
"What's that?" said Susan.
"We might all try minding our own business, " said he. And that was the end of the conversation.
C.S. Lewis, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," Harper Collins Children's Books, 2001, p.58.
And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house
to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking
things which they ought not.
will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the
house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
(Scriptures quoted from this site).
Being a busybody is seldom attractive, however, nowadays it's promoted as virtue. Do-goodism has become a religion of its own, we are all supposed to engage in campaigns to save the climate, Africa, women in third world countries, children in South America who don't go to school etc etc. There are whole missionary teams going to some obscure village to dig wells. I always wonder, can't men in those villages dig wells? Are Westerners supposed to be babysitters of the entire world? Do adults and/or wealthy people in those countries have no responsibilities to their own? And finally, why should I care?
The world would be a much better place if we just started paying more attention to the needs of our immediate family, neighbours and friends, instead of engaging in pointless campaigns to eliminate world poverty and inequality, or becoming a part of internet lynch mobs fighting an -ism du jour. I believe that women especially are prone to this malaise of busybodism, hence this poem from 1906:
She's a woman with a mission, 'tis her
heaven-born ambition to reform
the world's condition, you will
please to understand.
She's a model of propriety, a leader in
society, and has a great variety
of remedies at hand.
Each a sovereign specific, with a title
scientific, for the cure of things
morbific that vex the people sore;
For the swift alleviation of the evils
of the nation is her fore-ordained
vocation on this sublunary
And while thus she's up and coming,
always hurrying and humming,
and occasionally slumming, this
reformer of renown,
Her neglected little Dicky, ragged, dirty
tough and tricky, with his
fingers soiled and sticky, is
the terror of the town.
Author unknown, quoted from here.