Hi everybody, this is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. This question’s pretty short and to-the-point.

If life is unfair to everyone from time to time doesn’t that make life fair? That’s not really my question, but I heard that somewhere. My real question is when does something that is really none of your business become your business?


Ok, first question. So guys, if life is unfair to everyone from time to time, does that make life fair?

Off camera: That’s an interesting perspective. I guess in order for that to be true, the unfair things would have to be equal for everybody. For instance, everyone loses $1…

We teach in leadership that fairness has to do with the extent of which the same standard is applied, not necessarily everybody getting the same thing. So if we took what you guys are saying and applied this definition of fairness… I might be sticking with life is unfair. Because I don’t think we can say everybody gets treated the same – we really know that’s not true.

Anyway, that wasn’t your real question, so we’re just going to leave you to spin in that question!

This question is equally difficult. When does something that is really none of your business become your business?

Off camera: When if affects you in a significant way. When someone you know or love will be harmed in some way.

Alright. So it’s none of my business, but if it’s going to affect somebody I know or love OR it’s going to harm somebody, then it becomes my business. I think I completely agree with that. When something that’s really none of my business is going to hurt somebody that I know or love, or it’s going to affect me in a significant, specific way, then it becomes my business. Even though it’s none of my business, the decision you’re making still might affect me in a bad way.

You know, there was some interesting research done years ago where they staged an injury, or a heart attack, in a major city like on the Strip in Vegas, or New York or Chicago. What they were doing was (and this was before everybody had an emergency button on their cell phone) trying to see how many people would engage in the thing that happened. What they found was almost nobody would – that if they saw somebody in distress, people did not engage. At first they thought people didn’t care that much. Then they realized that there is a predisposed tendency in the human condition to hesitate and evaluate before they act. That makes sense, anthropologically. You know, a million years ago we would sit back and see if that sabre tooth tiger was going to attack us before we decided what we were going to do.

So, I totally agree. If it’s none of my business, but then I find out it’s going to affect me in a negative way, then it becomes my business. Or if it affects somebody I know, love, or care about – or is going to hurt anybody – then it becomes my business. Hope that was helpful!

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