HELLO, MI neighbour! Tense and emotionally charged arguments coupled with antisocial behaviours are just some of the challenges facing many Jamaican communities today.
In an attempt to escape these situations, people move from one community to another only to find that they have 'jumped from frying pan into fire'. A comforting word from Ms Black to Ms Brown as she lamented the behaviour of people in her new community: "Nuh mine yah mi dear, everywhere yuh guh, yuh find unreasonable people - is the last days. You jus' find peace within yuh heart and set a good example. Don't know what the world is coming to - the young people dem mashing it up ... really!"
Our communities belong to all of us
Guys, it cannot be overemphasised - our communities belong to all of us and if they are being 'mashed up', we are culpable. The silent observers are like silent killers. Think about that. And think about this: we all have a responsibility to make our communities hospitable. Ah! here's a question: how about a 'most peaceful/safe community competition'. Pretty sure that the minister of national security would love that - could this idea be tabled? We all know that it takes nothing short of out-of-the-box thinking and actions to produce desirable communities. Who will begin?
Yvonne Coke's 60-day fast in silence for the restoration of peace and goodwill among Jamaicans, is not just out-of-the-box action; it's an out-of-the-world undertaking! Convinced that God has called her to such a task, this patriotic Jamaican woman will lay aside food for 60 days as she petitions God for an end to communal atrocities and rank disregard for the sanctity of life, even that of the young and vulnerable.
In her prayer, she will also ask God to help Jamaicans to embrace and live in accordance with our National Anthem and National Motto.
Many Jamaicans who see this move as commendable and courageous are praying that it will bear fruit. So then, let the cynics, critics, hypocrites and rest of us not view Ms Coke's initiative as futile antics, but the commencement of a future, which will grow brighter and brighter over the next 50 years.
Can you picture that Jamaica where antisocial behaviours are no longer the norm? A Jamaica where neighbourliness becomes the culture of all neighbourhoods? It is not impossible for us to get to the peak where neighbours appreciate one another to the extent where they do not disturb one another with loud noise, outlandish behaviours, coarse indecency and stray animals. Can we go for it? Let's begin with a prayer: "Eternal Father, bless our land, guard us with thy mighty hand ... ."
Now let's put some work into it: we'll get together in groups, at home, at work, at church, in the schools, at the club, and start the out-of-the-box discussions that will redound to a better Jamaica - a Jamaica where people reach out and help people like some of those listed below.
Thanks for helping:
1. Neighbour, for offering clothing for newborns.
2. Mrs Neil - Fair Haven Pharmacy, for acts of neighbourliness.
3. Carlene, St Catherine, for giving clothing to Ms Bailey.
4. Everybody's Pharmacy for acts of neighbourliness.
5. Ryan, St Catherine, for offering to donate a fowl coop to Helen, St Ann.
Opportunities to help
Marlene, St Andrew, has pain in joints. Walking is very difficult as a result. Needs $6,000 to help facilitate a medical solution.
Neighbour, disabled, needs a hand cart and an igloo to start self-help business.
Nasta, St Ann, needs a wheelchair for brother.
Sharon, St Catherine, in need of a gas stove.
Mother, unemployed - children ages nine and six in need of eye care. Affecting their performance at school.
Stacey, St Catherine, asking neighbours for a stove.
Angela, St Catherine, needs financial assistance for emergency surgery to clear arteries.
Ricardo, St Catherine, asking neighbours for a used stove and mattress.
Sophie, unemployed single mother, child has diabetes and needs to be on special diet - cannot afford it.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.