Wed | Jan 23, 2019

Hello Mi Neighbour | Bad-mindedness and hypocrisy affect communities

Published:Wednesday | August 31, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Hello mi neighbour! Years ago, I came across a unique neighbour who was considered weird by her community and, as a result, was detested. She lived alone in a small room and would only be seen in the company of the taxi driver who took her to the supermarket on weekends.

On weekdays, she became a self-made prisoner behind her tightly locked doors and windows. No ventilation? She had no visitors. She said hello to no one and vice versa. Her hermetic lifestyle raised many questions for which no answers forthcame. Neighbours wondered why she was so unneighbourly: Was she sick? Was she shy? Crazy? Colour prejudiced? (Her pigmentation differed from the rest). Afraid of her neighbours? "Maybe she had psychological issues".

This lady became the 'talk of the town' the subject of many conversations throughout the community. Few showed sympathy for her, others showed indifference. So upset, hurt and offended by the quietness of this little lady that they even thought of ganging up against her with a beating one day! However, common sense prevailed. So here is the question: Didn't she have a right to be what she wanted to be and do what she wanted as long as she was not infringing the rights of others? Debate.


Code of conduct


There seems to be an unwritten code of conduct which makes it obligatory for community dwellers to understand and adapt the spirit of that community in order to live in peace and harmony with everyone else in said community. Not a bad idea, but experience and common sense have another point of view for a number of reasons. Some communities have a bad spirit which should not be encouraged - maybe a destructive spirit which can lead to the demise of that community. The spirits of cantankerousness, bad-mindedness and hypocrisy have not only ripped up many communities, but have snuffed out many lives, and I won't go into those details today!

A good community spirit is like 'health to the flesh and marrow to the bones'. It puts people at ease with one another and reduces tension. In this atmosphere, neighbours say hello to one another and have no difficulty sharing goods and services freely. The spirit of cooperation and love which pervades this environment inspires people to 'pretty-up' their front yard, package garbage neatly for disposal, turn down the music and inform neighbours of birthday parties, etc.

It means, therefore, that not only should we embrace a community spirit for the well-being of all, but we must ensure that it is a good community spirit. To cultivate this spirit requires hard work devoid of selfishness. Yes, it will cause a little pain and discomfort here and there. Someone may need to step of the 'high horse' for a while. And don't we know about 'Mr Ego', who always stands in the way? Well, for the sake and health of the community, he must be toppled! And great communities we must build.

As we build them, let's remember some for list below. Much peace.

Thanks to Neighbours

1. Hyacinth, St Catherine, for new and used clothing for neighbours.

2. Minnette, St Andrew, for offering help.

3. Novie, St Andrew, for preparing and delivering meals to the elderly today.

4. Ann Marie, for offering a wheelchair to a needy neighbour.

Opportunities for helping

- Keturah, St Catherine, 72-year-old senior citizen got burnt out. Asking for a queen- size mattress.

- Audrey has not been working for a year; has bills to pay. Asking neighbours for a serger sewing machine to help to generate an income.

- Neighbour, senior citizen asking neighbours for a refrigerator to sell bag juice.

- Paulette, Clarendon, asking for a dining table.

- Vanessa, Manchester, daughter attending a school of nursing asking neighbours for $20,000 to assist with tuition.

- Murica, Kingston, mother of three, all sleeping on a small bed needs bigger bed and grade five books for child. Needs help with overall living conditiondirt flooring.

To help, please call 334-8165, 884-3866 or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to Hello Neighbour C/o 53 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 10; e-mail