Tue | Sep 28, 2021

Hello Mi Neighbour | Your enemy might be your best friend

Published:Wednesday | March 20, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Hello, mi neighbour! Jamaica’s late ‘Crown Prince of Reggae’, Dennis Brown, belted out in his music:

“Here I come with love and not hatred,

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow I,

All the days of I life.

Envy no one, no wish to be with no evil man,

For there’ll come the day,

When you’ll be whipped by the Father’s hand.”

The message conveyed in these lyrics is clear: Those who love people will have goodness and mercy following them, while those who envy others are guaranteed a whipping from the Father’s hand. Aren’t these prophetic utterances being fulfilled all around us today? What’s your experience? It makes sense to love even the worst among our enemies.

Ever wondered about the wisdom in the command to “love your enemies”? I have a perspective: In many ways, enemies are better for us than friends. So you ask, how can I love/embrace someone who wishes me no good?

I will let you in on a little secret: The success of millions of people is attributable to the many enemies who they have had in their circles – not necessarily the number of friends. Enemies are people who challenge, undermine and sabotage us. They stand in our way and are never on the same page as us. Yet, they are the ones who intentionally turn the pages to chapters of success in our lives.

Living, breathing creatures come complete with a competitive spirit – a spirit that will fight back when challenged just to stay afloat. Corner a wild cat in a room with no opportunity to escape and see what this creature will do to you just to survive or escape. Please don’t try it, though; you may not survive!

When threatened to lose a treasured possession or opportunity because of an enemy’s activities, our natural instinct is to fight back. The tool required for fighting in a particular scenario, for argument’s sake, may be increased knowledge (about a particular subject), which further requires diligent research. At the end of the day, the new knowledge gained could propel one to a height of success never dreamt of. Thanks to the enemies!

Some friends are like water sprinklers, while some enemies are like manure. Both are needed for growth and development. Friends are like the umbrella to cover us from the rain, but enemies are the ones who truly prepare us to weather the storm.

Have no enemies? No, you are not the lucky one. It’s time to start seeking out or making some. Here is how simple it is: Become your best you. Be nice and kind to everyone at work. Be positive while everyone is negative, laugh plenty, aim high, and stand up for something. Soon, you’ll be on everyone’s nerves to the extent where they will begin to dislike you. Now that you have created some enemies, love them. Goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life.


- Annette, St Andrew, for food items.

- Rema, St Andrew, for donation.

- Granville, St Catherine, for offering a TV to his neighbour.

- Karlene, St Andrew, for donation.

- Miss Bruce, St Andrew, for offering shoes for children and ladies, and also offering a wheelchair and a walking stick.

- Miss Brown, St Catherine, for giving a TV to an amputee in the parish.


- Suzan, Westmoreland: her husband died and her house was destroyed by ants. Started another house but can go no further. Asking for neighbours’ help.

- Melisa, Manchester, asking for a stroller.

- Lomadaley, St Thomas, asking for a television.

- Miss Allen, St Elizabeth, blind for more than 15 years. Badly in need of a stove and also wants a fridge.

- Sandra, St Thomas: renal patient asking for a serger machine and second-hand zinc to help set up bathroom.

To help, please call Silton Townsend @ 334-8165 or 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: zicron22@yahoo.com. Contact Email: helloneighbour@yahoo.com. Visit hellomineighbourja.blogspot.com. Mr Townsend exclusively manages the collections and distributions mentioned in this column and is neither an employee nor agent of The Gleaner.