As people at all points on the political spectrum believe that America is in a godless state, I would like to share a portion of one of my favorite scriptures from the Christian Bible. I believe that I Thessalonians 4:11 can be shared in a public forum of people with various points of view without pitchforks, stones, and the unsheathing of swords. The Scripture reads in the King James Version: “And that ye study to be quiet and to do your own business.” In the English Standard Version it reads: “And aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs.” This scripture is in a section titled: A Life Pleasing to God.
In other words, minding your own business will make God happy.
Properly raising a child regardless of religious affiliation should include this lesson, if for no other reason than to make them upstanding members of society. Their upbringing should include many rebukes like, “Don’t touch that, it doesn’t belong to you,” “Leave your [insert sibling here] alone,” “Stop being nosy,” and my personal favorite, “Stay out of grown folks’ business.”
That’s not to say people should always only be concerned about what goes on with themselves. Life is more gray than that and sometimes it’s necessary to butt in —especially during once-in-a-generation pandemic. That being said, a solid general rule of thumb for life is don’t bother people. The rule doesn’t just apply to a person standing next to you in line for coffee, it also includes a celebrity you might spot somewhere.
It’s one thing to approach Luka Dončić if he happens to be walking around somewhere. It’s part of the deal of being a public figure. People, famous or not, will approach people who are. It’s a cool experience to talk about later. Maybe — for the non famous he person will be generous enough to take a photo or sign an autograph, and for the celebrities it’s a nice flex to see another celebrity and start a dialogue immediately. But it’s entirely different to sneakily snap a shot of someone drinking a beer and then post it on social media.
That happened on Wednesday. A picture of Dončić went viral showing of him at an outdoor restaurant having a beer on a patio while in conversation with Boban Marjanović — I can’t see his face but I assume nobody else on the patio, or in the world, has hands the size of a discus. The Mavericks actually felt the need to respond, via TMZ, and assure people that the picture wasn’t taken hours before the Mavericks’ Game 1, 112-87 loss to the Golden State Warriors.
In fairness to the person who took the picture, it’s pretty good. It captures Dončić in an extremely relaxed state, almost blending in with the crowd that will later have all eyes on him, except for Marjanović’s enormous hand looking like he’s getting ready to slice the entire picture in half with it. If it were a painting it would be titled, A Drink before the Dance. Also, the public doesn’t seem too bent out of shape about it. The quote tweets and replies are mostly people either declaring Dončić to be their spirit animal or confident that a pilsner in broad daylight means certain doom is in store for the Warriors.
However, let’s strive as a species to act like we have some sense in public. If you were stuck with one of those disposable grocery store cameras you might not be so confident to take a clandestine picture of someone you don’t know.
That person you want to photograph may be famous, but they don’t need you broadcasting their day to the world. I know we got much entertainment out of Tristan Thompson’s recklessness, as well as many other celebs, but just because they’re millionaires, recognizable, or both, does not make them less of a human being. In all facets of life, don’t document strangers that you encounter that aren’t trying to harm you, and certainly don’t broadcast harmless behavior on social media.
Whether or not you believe minding your own business is what you’re supposed to do to get to heaven, it’s at least something that can help make the world you live in a slightly better place. As the species with opposable thumbs and supposedly the ability to reason, being less nosy feels like something that can only benefit the species.