Tue | Sep 21, 2021

Making Jamaica the kindness capital of the world

Published:Wednesday | May 19, 2021 | 12:05 AM

Hello mi neighbour! The number of persons murdered in little Jamaica between 2004 and 2018 was 20,729. Divide that figure by 14 and you get an annual tally of roughly 1,480, which boils down to at least four persons to have been murdered every day by us, for that period. So we can ‘safely’ say that one person is killed in Jamaica every six hours. Despite measures put in place to reduce that number, it continues to move in the wrong direction.

According to one Caribbean source, Jamaica has now been classed the murder capital of the world … bla, ... bla … bla. Really? We could spend the whole day talking about the pain, misery and sense of loss and hopelessness caused by this act of wickedness, but without discounting the lingering pain of loved ones, however, I’m gonna move on.

Imagine with me, if you will, Jamaica being the kindness capital of the world. Imagining it? Now for the big question: how can we change our label to: Jamaica, The Kindness Capital of The World!? Put another way, are we ready to make Jamaica the Kindness Capital of the World? Add your voice, please.

First, let’s look at some benefits of kindness. From boosting your mood to lowering stress, the power of kindness is proven. In fact, science shows the benefits of kindness are greater for the giver than the receiver. We could conclude, therefore, that by helping others we are helping ourselves. Feeling good already? Can’t wait to start reaching out to the needy?

Listen to this testimony from a writer: Later that week, I spotted an elderly lady hauling a huge suitcase down some stairs – she was clearly struggling. Her face lit up with joy when I offered a hand. She was clearly touched that someone had made the effort to assist, and I too walked away with a spring in my step and a smile on my face!

From this example, it is clear that kindness has a ripple effect. One could even argue that the ‘show-er of kindness’ at times receives more satisfaction from the act than the recipient. Remember what Jesus said: it is more blessed to give than to receive. Enough said.

Back to my question: how can we make Jamaica the kindness capital of the word? Andre says: dispute resolution, truth and reconciliation and forgiveness must be encouraged, practised and taught in Jamaica. We must understand that “I am my brother ‘s/sister’s keeper.” This will help to reduce the misery index.

Marilyn says:

• It’s easy to be kind.

• Kindness does not cost anything and it’s positively life-altering.

• It is a fruit of the Spirit.

• Children of God must clearly demonstrate God’s love and forgiveness as a means of helping others to do likewise.

• Not trying to prove how right you are can actually be a kind act.

Now for suggestions from Michelle: Kind deeds should be publicised in the media, sponsored by the business community. This would create a desire for young and old alike to show kindness. Also, allow persons during the show to testify what happens to them after showing kindness.

So, ready to make Jamaica the kindness capital of the world? Let’s go!


1. Shirley, St Andrew, for offering a bed to a needy neighbour.

2. Neighbour, Manchester, for offering to assist neighbour with a wheelchair.

3. Novie, St Andrew, for travelling in the heavy rain to Duhaney Park with food for needy neighbour.


1. Making another appeal for a young pregnant neighbour who will be having baby soon. Necessities needed for mother and child.

2. Appealing again for Uriel, Westmoreland, who will be doing his fourth surgery in June 2021 and needs your help.

3. Nadine, Hanover, was burnt out and in need of neighbours’ help.

To help, please call Silton Townsend @ 876-334-8165, 876-884-3866, 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.