Sat | Aug 18, 2018

Hello Mi Neighbour | Heed the words of the wise

Published:Thursday | June 14, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Hello, mi neighbour! Every day we have experiences from which we can draw conclusions, form opinions and find bases for decision-making.

Sitting here by my window, staring into the distance to collect my thoughts for this article, I see the lower part of a tree which resembles the lower part of a man in the squatting position. I conclude that it's not a human being, because I see no movements. That trunk has been like that for many years. However, it being there always, does not guarantee that it will always be there.

Life teaches that everything and everyone changes with time - nothing remains the same.

"There's a season for every activity under the heavens:

A time to be born and a time to die,

A time to plant and a time to uproot

A time to tear down and a time to build

A time to mourn and a time to dance..."

The book of Ecclesiastes records the musings of a king said to be the richest and wisest to have lived. As he relates his experiences and draws lessons from them, he comes to the conclusion that all of man's actions are futile (debatable?), as both wise and foolish die.

He endorses wisdom as a means for a well-lived earthly life. He encourages simplicity, the enjoyment of daily pleasures, such as eating, drinking, working, socialising, etc, as gifts from God.

 

WISDOM HAS ITS LIMITATIONS

 

While this king praises wisdom, he reminds readers that wisdom has its limitations. In his heyday, he planned, implemented, experienced and thought.

So powerful and charming was he that he had 700 wives with another 300 women on the side.

King Solomon controlled the movement of goods by land through the European/Asian/ African trade routes, which enabled him to tax these countries at whatever rate he desired, and over a period of time amassed $64,300,800,000 from just this one activity.

With all this wealth and power, he was not immune to life's frustrations, uncertainties, and incompleteness.

Finding emptiness after all his achievements, this trillionaire gives, especially the young, a sobering advice to be "happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment".

Herein lies wisdom: as we make decisions to love, to kill, to hate, to covet, etc, we must bear in mind the day of reckoning and heed the words of the wise man Solomon: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.

As you make your decisions today, please consider someone from the list below. This is wisdom.

 

THANKS TO NEIGHBOURS

 

- Webster Memorial United Church - for acts of kindness.

- Rema, St Andrew - for contribution.

- Derval, St Catherine - for contribution to neighbour's building project.

- Karlene St Andrew - for contribution.

- Latoyer - for donation.

- Neighbour - for purchasing food for neighbours.

 

OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP

 

- Nadine, St Mary, was not able to work for a while due to illness - Asking for help to purchase food and pay some outstanding bills.

- Jennel, St Ann, single mother of four - Needs food and building materials to help make her children feel at home.

- 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; also needs to purchase medication, etc.

- Leonie, Kingston - Asking neighbours for a stove. Desperately needs one, which she cannot afford.

- Neighbour, unemployed senior citizen - Needs a stove to cook her food, reaching out to neighbours.

- Pastor Rose, St Mary - Asking for food supplies 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: zicron22@yahoo.com, or contact email: helloneighbour@yahoo.com. Mr Townsend exclusively manages the collections and distributions mentioned in this column and is neither an employee nor agent of The Gleaner.