Mon | Aug 10, 2020

HELLO MI neighbour! | Be a positive presence in your neighbourhood

Published:Wednesday | June 3, 2020 | 12:00 AM

HELLO MI neighbour! If your presence in your neighbourhood is not a positive factor, it is either of two things: you are misplaced or you have not achieved ‘neighbourhood’ (will explain below). Unless this matter is addressed promptly and deliberately, this neighbourhood could become so unattractive that even the animals may not find pleasure residing there. Well, well … big statement. Hold on.

Words and expressions used in reference to a traditional neighbourhood are ‘place’, ‘vicinity’, ‘district’, ‘region’ ‘the inhabitants of’, etc. The word itself (neighbourhood) has a pleasant ring to the ear of many, and conveys thoughts of togetherness, cooperation, kindness, networking, and pride. Notice how some people ‘pretty up their neighbourhood and don’t even want fly to pitch on it’? Getting the picture with a broadening smile?

‘Neighbourhood’ is such an endearing word for some neighbours that if you refer to their area as ‘district’, ‘area’, ‘locale’, ‘quarters’ or ‘neck of the woods’, etc.’, it could cause the type of psychological injury that could see them distancing you. Yes, for real. If I may just digress a bit, let’s look at a few behaviours that can disturb your public neighbours and cause them to distance you:

• Not holding the door for someone in need of help.

• Leaving your shopping cart in the way.

• Showing discourtesy to a pedestrian/motorist.

• Parking too close to the line in a parking lot.

• Searching for your money at the checking counter … plus, plus.

Okay, now back on track. When seeking a place to live, these questions may be raised:

• Is the neighbourhood in sync with your current lifestyle?

• Do owners/residents obviously take pride in maintaining their homes and care about their neighbourhood?

• What about crime rates? Are they trending up or down? What’s being done to improve the situation, etc.

• Can people walk – to the restaurant, park etc., and exercise freely?

With all of that said, we now turn to the idea of achieving ‘neighbourhood’ alluded to earlier. In this context it’s about a locale or physical surroundings, but the individuals who are living in the neighbourhood – the residents. The sociologist will tell you that the social and interpersonal underpinnings required for harmonious existence within a community are not inborn, but must be acquired over time, often with overtime work – hard work.

And this is my argument: by becoming a better you, you become a better neighbour and would have attained ‘neighbourhood’ (like sainthood, knighthood, etc). The conclusion, therefore, is that the person who creates less and solves more problems in the neighbourhood has attained true ‘neighbourhood’.

• And what steps can be taken in attaining this ‘neighbourhood’?

• Consider your impact on others. Everything you say and do impacts those around you negatively or positively. Tooting of the horn unnecessarily can annoy others.

Before you speak, ask yourself this question: will what I am about to say cause unnecessary pain or create needed comfort?

• If you become a humanitarian and start serving people, you will see immediate improvement in who you are.

• By using your strengths to strengthen others you become stronger. Recognise your weaknesses and work at overcoming them – and it’s not about perfection. Go easy.

• By taking better care of yourself, you demonstrate self-respect and attract respect from others.

• Make every day a ‘people-appreciation’ day: take no one for granted.

Build faith in your Creator and demonstrate it in your daily life – in good times and by times.

Now set to work. The sky is the limit.


1. Neighbour, St Andrew, for donation.

2. Everybody’s Pharmacy for act of kindness.

3. Neighbour, for assisting needy family with food.



1. Elderly neighbours, St Catherine, asking for food.

2. Leroy, Kingston, needs help with food.

3. Joy, St Catherine, needs double-bed mattress.

To help, please call Silton Townsend @ 876-334-8165, 876-884-3866, 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.