HELLO MI neighbour! At the beginning of 2012, I wrote a piece admonishing us to look out especially for those neighbours who stand at some of life's confusing crossroads, uncertain of the next move.
As we embark on 2013, the admonition is repeated with a little more urgency. One wrong move at a crossroads and people are lost - sometimes forever! Bottom line: people at crossroads need the help of others - those with experience, insight, patience, and means. And lest we forget, what hurts others directly, hurts us indirectly. So, we re-echo: 'love thy neighbour as thyself'.
Crossroads are places where critical decisions are made - decisions which will affect the rest of one's life, negatively or positively. That promising young man who now leads a gang, the unemployable young woman who now fends for five fatherless children, and the youngster who languishes behind bars, all made wrong turns at their crossroads. Had they made the right turn, they could have been far advanced on a ladder of success somewhere. Was there anyone to guide them?
It is important that younger people seek out a good, senior, trusted confidant (especially where parents are absent or incapable) to walk with them along life's winding and often precipitous journey. Remember, wisdom comes with experience and experience often comes with age.
The Jamaica of yesteryear always had older persons taking the younger ones aside to counsel them on the important issues of life. Poised for failure, many of these youngsters were rescued just in time by elders who were caring and sensitive enough to step in. This informal mentorship facility is part of what is missing from our society. The widening gap and the seeming language barrier between the young and the old may make it difficult for any form of mentoring to occur, but we know how to wheel and come again.
As we ring out the old and ring in the new, here is a good resolution for our seniors (those over 35): we will become good neighbours to our youth who stand at some of life's most treacherous crossroads, and guide them along the right paths. And for the youngsters: we will follow the wise counsel of our elders.
Thanks for helping
1. Gantam & David for donating a brand new bed to Paulette's father who got a stroke and was sleeping on worn-out sponge.
2. Charmaine, St Catherine, for offering a bed to a needy neighbour.
3. Alverine, Kingston, for offering to assist Ms Brown who needs help with school supplies.
4. Neighbour, for offering to assist neighbour who needs waist-34 pants.
5. Neighbour, for offering jeans and shirts.
Great opportunities to help others
Neighbour, St Catherine, senior citizen - fell and is unable to walk. Needs a wheelchair. Also needs a mattress.
Neighbour, Clarendon, sickle-cell patient - needs a bed.
Neighbour, mother of six - seeking a mattress, present one has torn apart.
Neighbour, unemployed mother of three - asking for food for children (infant food included), shoes for church and school.
Neighbour, disabled senior citizen - needs help with bathroom and kitchen.
Neighbour, senior citizen - needs a television.
Neighbour, single mother of eight - in need of a bed. Also needs food and help in sending children to school.
Nathaniel, St Catherine - needs a bed and food items for family.
Neighbour - needs a gas stove.
Neighbour - needs a stove.
Ms Huggins, Clarendon - needs two doors.
Ms Hylton, Manchester - asking neighbours for clothing and shoes, for church mattress also.
To help, please call 334-8165, 884-3866, 299-3412 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; email email@example.com.