Sun | May 16, 2021

Hello Mi Neighbour | Adversity brings out our best resources

Published:Wednesday | May 9, 2018 | 12:00 AM
The quicker we understand that adversities are often friends dressed like foes, the easier it is to overcome them.

Hello, mi neighbour! Back then, my siblings and I thought our parents were guilty of child abuse by insisting on obedience against our will. Despite weeping, begging and pleading for mercy, they would not relent. Their children would be trained in the healthy "way that they should go", and no one would stand in their way.

So, it was periodic physic - castor oil, mojo herb and other bitter concoction - that kept us close to the outhouse for the greater part of that day.

Today, we say thanks for their wisdom; we are all over 60 and still in fairly good health. What we considered adversity then has redounded to our 'youngevity' now. (Rhyming).

The quicker we understand that adversities are often friends dressed like foes, the easier it is to overcome them.

Lou Holtz says, "Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I'll show you someone who has overcome adversity."

By the dictionary, an adversity is a "difficult or unpleasant situation". Being so, we hide from it, saying "fools rush in where angels fear to tread". (Alexander Pope). Not suggesting that we should court adversity, but whenever it occurs, we should not be deterred.

Ignorance and fear are the main reasons many potentially successful people run from opportunities disguised as adversities, only to become failures later on.

Success in life depends upon preparation with clear goals and an indomitable spirit. No teacher, lecturer, professor or instructor can prepare us for life better than a minute spent in the presence of adversity. Notwithstanding their intensity, we remind ourselves that each of them is temporary.




How does adversity work for us? It brings out our best resource - the sleeping genius within! Whenever everything is going well, we tend to glide along and leave our minds in idle mode, making it open to being the devil's playground. If only those American celebrities had had a few adversities accompanying them on their escapades, they could have avoided the embarrassment and possible jail terms now facing them for sexual misconduct in their years of virility.

Every challenge provides an opportunity for personal and professional growth. Without people, we cannot grow. Adversity helps us to appreciate people more, and they, in turn, help to foster our growth.

People are part of the resources we draw upon to conquer unexpected circumstances that broadside us at times. Adversity, then, not only helps to strengthen our personal muscle, but makes us more people-friendly and emotionally intelligent.

In a family, community or country where strife is rife, adversity is often a device used to pull people together as a cohesive force against total devastation.

The next time you experience adversity, focus on how the experience can unite those affected, and work towards that goal. You will discover a bond that had not existed before. Adversity has the power to make us stronger, more courageous, more disciplined and more empathetic to the point where we have no qualms loving our neighbours as ourselves and doing unto others as we would like them to do unto us, starting with those listed below.

"All can be sweetened by bitterness."




- Janet, St Andrew - for offering a refrigerator to a neighbour.

- Miss Cooke, St Catherine - for ladies' shoes.

- Shirley, St Andrew - for offering a sewing machine, a mattress and a bed frame.

- Miss Hope, St Andrew - for clothing.




- Mr Johnson, St Elizabeth - asking for a mattress.

- Neighbour - asking neighbour for a table.

- Berly, Clarendon - asking for prayers and a little financial assistance.

- Evelyn, Clarendon - asking neighbours for a second-hand laptop.

- Josephine, St James - widow, sickly, appealing to good neighbours to help her to build a little room and a bathroom - living in very bad conditions.

To help, please call Silton Townsend @ 334-8165,

884-3866, or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX). Send donations to HELLO NEIGHBOUR c/o 53 Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston 10; Paypal/credit card: email:


Mr Townsend exclusively manages the collections and distributions mentioned in this column and is neither an employee nor agent of The Gleaner.