Learning to rely on others for strength
Hi neighbour! After a few attempts on Sunday last, I eventually made it to Kencot SDA Church where the funeral service of Charmaine Cotterell was in progress. The crowd was huge. There was no room in the church so I had to watch the service on a screen set up in a nearby hall. Wasn't a problem, actually. I could watch proceedings up close. Cotterell was the wife of Pastor Adrian Cotterell, president of the East Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. A sad occasion it was, but there were frequent outbursts of laughter and healthy smiles as old friends greeted one another and funny moments of Cotterell's sojourn were recollected - characteristic of contemporary funerals. Tributes from the governor general, read by Pastor Cornel Jackson; the prime minister, read by Dr Kenneth Baugh, and Leader of the Opposition, delivered by Portia Simpson Miller herself, were among many which warmed hearts.
What stood out for me on this occasion, where brothers and sisters from various denominations were in attendance, was the smiling face of Pastor Cotterell during one of the tributes and his tapping feet as the Andrews Memorial SDA church choir showered the atmosphere with a rendition of Then Came the Morning. These presentations must have heightened his hope and sharpened his certainty of reuniting with his wife in the 'sweet by and by'. As I got caught in the moment, I couldn't help thinking how much we all need one another, especially at these times. However strong we may be as individuals or families, there comes a time when we must rely on the strength and support of others to make it through. Those who are strong on individualism must take note.
No one should rely on fame, fortune or popularity to take him/her through life. These are mere props which can blur our vision and hinder us from experiencing what life is all about. We were made for relationships. Human relationships contribute to our spiritual, social and physical wellness. It is in interacting with fellow beings that we understand ourselves and appreciate how our differences complement one another. Take it from me, without silly remarks and simple misunderstandings at times, life could be really boring.
Let's bear in mind that rallying 'round one another in a time of need may not guarantee desired outcomes, but I guarantee it will make a positive difference to the overall results. Just turning up with a caring heart, and being there without even uttering a single word, could be the only therapy needed at that moment. There may be many persons experiencing depression or some other debilitating condition at the moment and just need a shoulder to lean on. It could be a friend, co-worker, next door neighbour or even an enemy, for that matter. How about yours being that therapeutic hand to help yank someone out of the undesirable mire?
Talking about revolution? I think its time to revolt against individualism and selfishness by loving your neighbour as yourself and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. That's the cure for all ailing human relations.
Coming in May
Everyone is invited to invest in a nation-building event captioned: 'Hello Neighbour - investing in the neighbour for a better Jamaica', which takes place at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, Sunday, May 29, 2011 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event will be cultural and village-like, and will showcase gospel music, drama, and poetry by popular entertainers.
Until next time, remember: Let brotherly love continue.
Thanks to the following neighbours for their acts of neighbourliness:
1. Webster Memorial United Church for neighbourly accommodation.
2. Everybody's Pharmacy.
3. Mitsy, St Catherine, for donating mattress and bed to a needy neighbour.
4. Marsha, St Catherine, for offering a television and a bed to a neighbour.
5. Jennifer, St Catherine, for offering a wheelchair to Miss Davis, St Catherine.
6. Miss Linton, Manchester for offering a stove with an oven to Derrick who needs to bake pastries for a living.
7. Beverly, St Ann, for offering to assist neighbour who needs seeds to do a little farming.
8. Miss Rumble, St Andrew, for offering a bed to Camille, Kingston.
9. Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union for offering a refrigerator to a basic school in St Catherine.
Opportunities to help neighbours:
1. Vinnette, St Catherine, 70-year-old husband had a stroke. Needs food and fare to take him to the doctor.
2. Neighbour, mother of seven. Met in an accident, needs help with children. Father is absent.
3. Marion, St Andrew, seeking help on behalf of family of six. None working. Three children attending school. In need of food and funding for school.
4. Victoria, Manchester, spinal problems. In severe pain night and day. Needs neighbours' urgent assistance to find $200,000 for surgery.
To help, please call 906-3167, 884-3866, 299-3412 or e-mail us: email@example.com. Those who desire to help us with our financial obligations may make deposits to Acct # 351 044 276 at the National Commercial Bank. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to HELLO NEIGHBOUR c/o 53 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 10.