It's None of My Business

Bergant, Dianne
September 2004
America;9/20/2004, Vol. 191 Issue 7, p38
The article discusses a Bible reading. The phrase "It's none of my business" can mean more than one thing. It can be an acknowledgment that we must respect the right of others to self-determination and personal privacy. On the other hand, it can be used as an excuse for not stepping in to help when it is clear that another needs our help. The phrase has almost become a motto for a society in which individuals are so totally absorbed in their own life projects that they fail to consider the common good. The theme of last Sunday's readings, covenant responsibility of the rich for the poor, is the main focus of this Sunday's texts as well. Once again the oracle proclaimed by Amos is scathing: "Woe to the complacent in Zion!" The prophet does not condemn the people for their wealth, but for their complacency in the face of the hardships that others are forced to endure. Our own covenant responsibilities extend far beyond the confines of our families or our parish communities. We cannot be deaf to the cries of the needy in far-flung corners of the world. We cannot close our eyes to the plight of the victims of oppression and war. We cannot be complacent while others are collapsing as their lives are being destroyed. The die has not yet been cast for us. We still have time to be faithful to what our religious tradition teaches: The well-being of others is indeed our business.


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