Wed | May 27, 2020

Hello Mi Neighbour | Never covet your neighbour

Published:Wednesday | December 4, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Hello mi neighbour! While waiting on a thought for this column recently, another thought jumped into my mind. You know how thoughts are: they flood your mind without invitation. Some experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000–80,000 thoughts a day. That’s an average of 3,300 thoughts per hour. Finish the maths. Because negative and positive thoughts enter the mind daily, without a proper thought-management plan, the negative ones can run amok and create serious problems for us. In fact, this could explain our current mess.

I am no thought expert but from experience, negative thoughts are often mistaken for the positive and vice versa. Let’s watch the things we desire or yearn for. Greed has sent many a man on wild goose chases and has got many in hot water. It is never okay to covet a neighbour’s belongings. If one therefore finds himself hankering after what does not belong to him, soon or later negative thoughts, disguised as positives ones, will begin to flood his mind, showing him how he can possess another man’s goods with a clear conscience. Sounds familiar?

Justified that it was okay to steal from his rich cousin (who was fond of him), for the benefit of his struggling mother after the death of his father, the youngster started stealing from her on his weekend visits. This went on for a while until a habit of thievery was formed. Cutting to the chase, after spending 18 years behind bars, he is now trying to find his way around the many walls the incarceration erected. A sordid story, but we hope, however, that the negative experience would have taught him positive lessons. It often does. Again, people, watch those thoughts.

What things motivate your thoughts today? Stop and think. Is it greed, lust, covetousness, envy, pride, anger or any such thing? If so, it is time to take preventive action. If not, you could end up taking actions that you may regret for the rest of your life.


Many times, thoughts stem from how we view ourselves. The experts recommend that whenever we catch ourselves thinking negative thoughts – disrespecting, belittling or berating ourselves – we must interrupt them aggressively. It may take a mental yell, like “ stop!” “No!” “Enough!” “You won’t control me now!” That said, replace these thoughts with counter thoughts or affirmations that begin with “I am”. For example, if you were a “such a loser”, counter such thought with “I am fearfully, wonderfully made by the Creator and living in this world on purpose”. If we tell ourselves that despite what others might think about us, we are magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful, loved and loving, bit by bit, our self-concept will take on a more positive complexion.

And, as usual, I just got carried away there. I must now tell you the thought I was having at the start of this article. That thought was ‘waiting’. Thanks for waiting on it. I must apologise, however, because time has run out; you may have to wait a little while longer. And as you wait, think on this thought:

Don’t wait!

Start on your dreams, your impulses,your longings, your special occasions today.

Because this is your moment.

– Mary Anne Radmache

Positive thoughts are always waiting to rush into us.


1. Karlene, St Andrew, for donation.

2. Neighbour, St Andrew, for offering household items.

3. Neighbour, St Andrew, for offering a TV to a neighbour.

4. Neighbour, St Andrew, for donation of food items.

5. Neighbour, for providing chauffeur service.


1. Francine, Clarendon, asking for chest of drawers for children’s clothing.

2. Carmen, St Mary, asking for material to make bed linen and pillows to make a living.

3. Monica, St Catherine, got burnt out and urgently in need of a bed and other household items.

4. Vivia, Manchester, a patient at hospital awaiting surgery and in need of help to purchase medical supplies for this operation.

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.