Sun | Feb 23, 2020

Hello Mi Neighbour | Conversation can be a great stress reliever

Published:Thursday | June 7, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Hello, mi neighbour! I recall an incident that occurred 50 years ago as though it were yesterday. Mr Johnny was a high-profile employee in whom his employer invested much and placed maximum confidence. A cut above the rest, he was the one chosen to handle sensitive information. But, as fate had it, at the height of his career, a spirit of greed possessed him, and he did the unthinkable, which embarrassed him and betrayed his employer's trust. He stole from his employer and was discovered.

The following day, Mr Johnny was found dead with a single bullet to his head, having committed suicide. Like Judas who denied Christ and hanged himself, being too embarrassed to face his Master, Mr Johnny, embarrassed to face his employer, decided to commit suicide and did just that.

Wasn't there someone to converse with?

A conversation with another person could have changed this story. He could have been persuaded to swallow his pride and explain his indiscretion to his employer. They could have discussed the issue of forgiveness, etc. Even if it meant spending time behind bars, it would have been a much better option, and learnt lessons could have helped to guide others.

By its nature, a conversation is an effective and inexpensive means by which many problems are resolved. This informal interchange of thoughts and information between persons is practised all over the world by young and old through various media with positive results.

Whether it be a large gathering, a small group, or just two persons engaged in a conversation, it can be a great stress reliever in addition to its benefits.


Face to face still the best


The intermingling of thoughts and ideas is a critical ingredient in the decision making process of the society, the organisation and the family.

It must be borne in mind that while communication gadgets enhance conversations, face-to-face is still the best. It is through face-to-face conversations that we truly connect with the emotions of others, thus making us better able to offer help or save a life as the case may be. Many marriages, jobs and lives have been saved through simple conversations.

It has been proven that striking up a conversation with a total stranger in the bank, supermarket, by the shopping mall, etc., is a healthy practice and can change one's fortune. We may discover a good business or life partner; a relative or just someone to offer you the professional service you've been searching for.

But how do we strike up this conversation with a stranger? Comment on a topic of mutual or general interest, ask questions that can't be answered with a single word and react to what a person says in the spirit in which it is said and so on.

Having reflected on the foregoing, may I now encourage you to start a conversation with someone from the list below and see the positive difference it will make.

Please contact us for their contact information.




Rema, St Andrew - for contribution

Derval, St Catherine - for contribution

Karlene St Andrew - for contribution

Latoyer - for donation




1. Jacqueline, St Catherine - needs a refrigerator

2. Vivienne, St Catherine - needs a bed, stove, second-hand settee for self and children

3. Carlos, St James - unable to hold a job due to ill health. Asking for a refrigerator and plywood to build a stall so that he can generate an income; needs to purchase medication also.

4. Olivine, St Mary - asking for help to start a little business.

5. Paulet, Portland - desperately in need of assistance with food; also asking for a TV.

6. Pastor Rose, St Mary - asking for food kind and utensils to help provide food for the hungry in the community.

To help, please call Silton Townsend @ 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; Paypal/credit card: email: Or contact e-mail Mr Townsend exclusively manages the collections and distributions mentioned in this column and is neither an employee nor agent of The Gleaner.