I believe in stepping up and helping out, even when it’s the last thing people expect.  I smile at little kids.  I help mamas who are juggling grocery carts.  I make sure my kiddos don’t stand slack jawed in the midst of a moving crowd. 

I figure it’s a cosmic way to balance the scales for all those years when folks stepped in to help me.  If I have the time/energy/free hands to help, then it’s just rude not to.

But then there are those other times.  Times to butt out.  Times when I know the smart play is to shut my mouth and keep my head down.

Mamas giving the hairy eyeball.

Whoa, Nellie…step off and break eye contact if you’re nearby when discipline breaks out.  Do Not chime in, and Do Not let the child pull your focus.  The absolute most you can do here is give mama the “me, too” look once they’re done.

TSA’s on the scene.

Ain’t nobody got time for this.  You make a joke to lighten the mood or carry someone’s bag through security, the next thing you know you’ve been in the “interview room” for two hours and missed your flight.

Cops on the scene.

Like a good kegger, once the cops show up it’s time to jam.  K9 dogs?  Keep moving.  Cops questioning two passengers at the gate?  Keep moving.  See the guy in front of you get taken down and handcuffed SWAT style?  Put your head down and keep moving.

If you don’t have something nice to say…

Sometimes you witness something so jaw dropping it’s near impossible to avoid commenting, but you must resist.  Child screeching NO! at a parent…teen in booty shorts when it’s fifty degrees out…even grandparents who sugar up their grand babies before entering small, enclosed spaces.  Yes, we all recognize theses are (ahem) “questionable” choices, but whatever.  We all have to live with our choices.  Not my crazy, not my circus.