Mon | Mar 20, 2023
HELLO MI NEIGHBOUR ... With Maas Gussie

Is feeding the hungry worth the risk of being scammed in the process?

Published:Sunday | March 19, 2023 | 12:40 AM

Hello mi neighbour! Help the helpless: one of these days you just might need help from those helpless, whom you would have helped along the way.

Some things about the future, we just cannot predict. As a universal family, we must rally around the weaker vessels until they become strong. It’s critical for the survival of all. If there is a hole in a bucket with water, what do you think will eventually become of the water? That’s right! Let’s fix that hole. Following my reasoning?

Helpless people are people whose need for help is so acute that if no one comes to their rescue, their demise is sure. Needs here may be categorised as physical, spiritual, financial or emotional.

Permit me to establish a ‘road code’ for neighbours: Look out for your neighbours. Look up, look down, look left, look right for someone who may need your help. It’s the good and proper thing to do because no one knows when someone (excluding none) may just fall by the wayside with no one by his/her side.

To be in dire need of help with no solution in view ain’t pretty at all. What is even uglier is becoming accustomed to seeing people in dire straits and not offering to help when you can, yet you are still able to rest well at night. Dire needs are specific to the circumstances and desires of a particular person or persons at a particular time. The poor family who desperately desires food but can’t afford to buy it because of a financial situation, has a dire need. The rich family who has lots of food but cannot eat it due to a physical condition, has a dire need. Oh yes. See my point?

Now for an experience I had a while back: Here I was greeting and chatting with my sisters and brothers on the compound after church one morning, when up walked a gentleman – not sure why I was his chosen vessel, but let’s see. “Boss mi hungry an waan eat some food suh dat mi can feel like sumbady,” he said. Immediately, those words ‘waan feel like sumbady’ struck a chord in me and I could not resist helping him. Was he a scammer? Was he a drug addict? Was he really hungry? Those questions did not arise. If he lied to me, that was on him.

I started thinking about the devastating effects of hunger on the human body. Constantly worrying about the source of your next meal can cause mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – a condition that causes one to be frightened even where there is neither threat nor danger. It is said that mothers with young children who face severe hunger are 56.2 per cent more likely to have PTSD and 53.1 per cent more likely to have severe depression. Sad. Can you help?

It is widely known that children who attend school on an empty stomach find it extremely difficult to concentrate on their school work. They are often cranky, hyperactive, and aggressive. Not only are they easily distracted, they can be gravely distractive. This situation accounts for developmental delays and learning disabilities in a high percentage of our children. According to one research, there is a strong correlation between hunger and many of the chronic diseases facing the world today.

When all is said and done, here’s my question: Is feeding a hungry adult/child worth the risk of being scammed in the process? Over to you.

Like I said, help the helpless: one of these days you may just need help from the helpless whom you would have helped..

Think on those things as I go to the kitchen to find something to eat. After all that writing, I’m so hungry!



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To help, please call Silton Townsend @ 876 884-3866, or deposit in acct # 351 044 276 NCB. Alternatively, send donations to HELLO NEIGHBOUR C/O 53 Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston 10; Paypal/credit card: email: Contact email: Visit Mr Townsend exclusively manages the collections and distributions mentioned in this column and is neither an employee nor agent of The Gleaner.