Sun | Jun 7, 2020

Hello Mi Neighbour | Bad blood no good for neighbours

Published:Wednesday | August 21, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Hello mi neighbour! What would you do if your neighbour cut your tree limb that was overhanging his property and threw into your yard? No, it never fell on your side from the cut. It actually fell on his side and he picked it up and threw it over your side. Of course, your reaction would depend on your temperament, momentary mood and the neighbour to neighbour relationship. The incident could spoil a good relationship or worsen a bad one. Overall, if not wisely managed, it could divide the whole village.


But on the spur of the moment, what would you do with this limb? Pick it up and throw it over his yard, reprimand him, let it stay there and rot, chop down the entire tree, or pick up the limb with a smile? Whatever you do, it’s important to act on the message being sent here. He may have issues with you or himself. This is not a matter to ignore, use as an opportunity to build a wall, sideline or spread negative rumours about the neighbour.


Bad blood is never good for neighbours. Not only can it cause blood pressure to skyrocket, it can cripple an entire nation at a time when all should truly be their brother’s keeper. Life has taught us that the weakest person in the neighbourhood can become a source of strength to the strongest one in that community. We never know when the tables may turn leaving the strong weak and making the weak strong.


A friend once told me that if hadn’t been for Nigel, she could have been raped or robbed as she walked home alone one night. To everyone in the community, Nigel was just “nigel” - a nonentity who lived on the streets and fed on the scrapings from people’s pots. The ground was his bed base and cardboard was his mattress, pillow, and sheet. How we allow another human being to exist under that condition is beyond me but I’ll take up that another time.


So as my friend walked along the lonely street, a stranger with evil intensions got close to her. On cue, out of nowhere, like a guardian angel, appeared Nigel. Instantaneously something about Nigel drove fear into the evil stranger and he disappeared. From that night until she left the community, Nigel and her were “best of friends”. He was sure to get his Sat’day soup and Sunday rice and peas ‘n’ chicken with an occasional pocket money.


No one should ever think that there’s anyone anywhere on this planet with no value. Wherever we find ourselves in this world, we will find that somebody who may not be of value to one person is of great value to another. Put another way, everybody is valuable to somebody. And because we do not know who will of great value to us one day, we should despise no one.


So mi neighbour, be careful how you treat your next-door neighbour they maybe your greatest asset. What my friend did when his neighbour cut the limb and threw it over his yard, was to pick it up with the smile which helped to purge the bad blood that was building between them for about five months. And guess who called on whom to take him to the hospital when he became ill at 2:30 o’clock early one rainy Wednesday morning?


Take care of thy neighbour…




1. Lorna, St Andrew, for offering stove to needy neighbour


2. Claudette, St Andrew, for dining table


3. Mr Graham, for assisting with transportation


4. Neighbour, St Andrew, for clothing








1. Elaine, Manchester, mother or 4 needs help with food for children


2. Neighbour, Portland, asking for a TV of any size


3. Neighbour, St Catherine asking for a dining table.


To help, please call Silton Townsend @ 334-8165, 884-3866, or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. Alternatively, send donations to HELLO NEIGHBOUR C/o 53 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 10; Paypal/credit card: email: CONTACT EMAIL: Visit Mr Townsend exclusively manages the collections and distributions mentioned in this column and is neither an employee nor agent of The Gleaner.