He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a dog by the ears. – Proverbs 26v17
Strangely enough I know three people who have almost identical dog bites on their upper lips. When my pastor and his brother were children they decided to staple their dog’s ears together. Caleb was at the receiving end of my mom’s dog right after she died. The poor dog had had enough with all the kids, and Caleb was there at the wrong time. Eoin was chasing a little dog under a table and the dog had enough.
Of those, only Pastor was foolish enough to reach out and grab a dog by the ears. He was the only one who got what he deserved.
He is like the man described in the proverb above. Anyone who walks by and gets involved is a squabble that is not his own is asking for trouble. Of course, being a proverb, this is not exclusive. If someone is in obvious danger we cannot walk by and let them be hurt, we must intervene.
But this is a proverb. The idea is that we simply need to mind our own business. As the parental advice so often is heard – ‘keep your nose on your own face.’ Most of the time when these things happen there no danger - we just can’t resist getting involved in a good fight.
When we do this we are, just like Pastor and his brother, asking for trouble. We deserve to get bit. Don’t be surprised when getting involved results in a bloody lip.