Mind Your Own Business

by Don Boudreaux on May 29, 2004

in Hubris and humility, Music, Nanny State

While out for a drive this morning I scanned the FM radio spectrum and happened upon Hank Williams, Sr.’s recording of “Mind Your Own Business.” (He also wrote the song.) Although as a rule I don’t like country music, that of Hank Williams, Sr. is an exception to this rule — and this song of his is probably my favorite. I especially appreciate the last two stanzas:

If I want to honky tonk around ’til two or three

Now, brother that’s my headache, don’t you worry ’bout me.

Just mind your own business

(Mind your own business)

If you mind your business, then you won’t be mindin’ mine.

Mindin’ other people’s business seems to be high-toned

I got all that I can do just to mind my own

Why don’t you mind your own business

(Mind your own business)

If you mind your own business, you’ll stay busy all the time.

Indeed. Mindin’ other people’s business is regarded as high-toned. It’s the principal occupation of too many folks. How insightful of a twentysomething, poorly educated, guitar-strumming farm boy from Alabama to recognize an important truth overlooked by so many PhD-sporting intellectuals — namely, for each of us, taking care of our own business is business enough. Minding the business of other people not only officiously and arrogantly interferes with other people’s lives, it takes us away from the most important business that each of us should attend to: our own.

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