英文諺語 Everybody’s business is nobody’s business

Everybody’s business is nobody’s business 眾人之事乏人管

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Here ‘business’ means ‘duty’ or ‘task’. When nobody is directly responsible for doing a thing, nobody does it, because everybody thinks somebody else is or will be doing it.

If a piece of work is entrusted to a single person, he will carry it out sincerely. But if it is given to a group of people, it will be found that the work is not completed properly. As many people are responsible for the work, nobody takes much interest in it. Even if they do it, they would not put in serious effort as the credit is to be shared among many. Besides, all of them will think that others might do the work. And if all those who are responsible think so, in effect no work will be done. It is natural for people to be lazy and shirk off responsibilities if given the chance. A joint venture offers this chance while one will not be able to shirk off the work if it is entrusted to him alone. He knows that the success or failure of the enterprise depends sole by on him. If it succeeds, he will be able to take the full credit. At the same time, if he fails he alone must take the blame. This light makes the person to put in serious efforts in his work.

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