The un­speak­able joy of be­ing a good neigh­bour

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

Drew Pet­tit (left), di­rec­tor of the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources in Ber­muda’s Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment, greets Dr Fale­toi Tuilaepa Suavi, as­sis­tant chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer in Samoa’s Pol­icy, Plan­ning & Com­mu­ni­ca­tion di­vi­sion dur­ing the Caribbean Week of Agri­cul­ture held in Grand Cay­man. HELLO, MI neigh­bour! I still re­mem­ber my heart­felt joy while watch­ing an act of neigh­bourli­ness through the lens of a tele­vi­sion cam­era some two years ago. Acts of be­ing good neigh­bours do bring un­speak­able joy to the tar­geted and the ‘tar­geter’. Such a pity that ‘un­neigh­bourli­ness’ is so preva­lent in civil so­ci­ety. Un­civilised! Those sad faces seen on tele­vi­sion be­moan­ing the killing of a young Ja­maican from Ja­maica Col­lege some days ago make the point that where there is no act of neigh­bourli­ness, the peo­ple per­ish. Help us to love our neigh­bour as our­selves and save our chil­dren, dear Lord. Amen.

Watch­ing the hun­gry, elderly lady clutch an ap­ple given to her by her vis­i­tor made me wish I was there to give her a thou­sand ap­ples. But she was thou­sands of miles away. As the tele­vi­sion cam­era did a close-up, her lips parted with a bril­liant smile and a big “thank you”. Wow! Though vi­car­i­ous, the joy I felt from that act of neigh­bourli­ness could have been no less than hers and the vis­i­tor’s.

To give some­one the op­por­tu­nity to say thank you in a world strapped for kind­ness must feel very spe­cial to the re­cip­i­ent of the kind deed. When­ever I do a cour­tesy stop for some mo­torists, not only are they thank­ful, they give me a sec­ond look, maybe try­ing to fig­ure out if I am for real. Bet I am. And here’s a ques­tion which has just burst into my mind: What about a thank you day? I mean, like ev­ery day, start­ing to­day? As op­por­tu­ni­ties are cre­ated for ex­pres­sions of grat­i­tude on this day, it will be ‘joy to the world’. Oh yes, we are aware that some per­sons are pos­sessed by a spirit of in­grat­i­tude, but not to worry, they’ll catch on.

Oh, how well I re­mem­ber how Ty­rone’s face beamed with joy as I thanked him for the $10 he gave me to make up my toll money. This “wind­screen wiper”, who of­ten re­ceives a few dol­lars for clean­ing my wind­screen, was so pleased that he was able to meet such a need. And when a neigh­bour came from Bog Walk to col­lect the bed linen, which had been do­nated by an­other neigh­bour, she was the pic­ture of un­re­strained joy. My joy was also full and run­ning over.

The list of needs be­low presents us with op­por­tu­ni­ties to help some­one to ex­pe­ri­ence the joy of be­ing thank­ful. Those who use these op­por­tu­ni­ties will ex­pe­ri­ence the greater joy of giv­ing! “Give and it shall be given unto you ...” A good mo­ti­va­tion to care for oth­ers is re­mem­ber­ing our hu­man­ity and the fact that what­ever af­fects one can af­fect all.


1. Jen­nifer, for of­fer­ing new and used cloth­ing for men and women – baby shoes, also.

2. Sandi, for of­fer­ing uten­sils, cloth­ing, bed linen, fab­ric, and a sewing ma­chine to neigh­bours.

3. Ali­cia, for of­fer­ing baby cloth­ing to mother whose child’s father wanted her to abort the child.

4. Rita, for of­fer­ing a stove to a needy neigh­bour.


IIIIIIMrs Davis, Manch­ester – Ask­ing for a bed, a what­not, and a din­ing ta­ble. Ms Smith, sin­gle mother of six with a slipped disc – Ask­ing for neigh­bours’ help to start poul­try farm­ing to help sup­port her fam­ily fi­nan­cially – 50 chick­ens, 12 bags of feed. Needs to do surgery. Neigh­bour – Ask­ing for Cos­me­tol­ogy. Shelly Ann, sin­gle mother – Some­one broke into her house and stole her TV. Ask­ing neigh­bours for a re­place­ment for chil­dren’s sake. Neigh­bour – Ask­ing neigh­bours for a piece of ply­board to re­in­force lit­tle house. Neigh­bour, mother of seven – chil­dren’s fa­thers died. Ask­ing for a few sheets of zinc to cover roof – house leaks badly. Also needs a bed – chil­dren sleep on card­board. Some­times no food. Cloth­ing needed for teenagers and nine-month old-baby. Mi­lady Book of


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