The unspeakable joy of being a good neighbour
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.
THANKS TO NEIGHBOURS
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.
OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP A NEIGHBOUR AND SHOW SOME LOVE
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