Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Hello Mi Neighbour | If anything is sure, it is uncertainty

Published:Wednesday | April 25, 2018 | 12:52 AM

Hello mi neighbour! Where will you be when the clock strikes midnight tonight? Some who’ll be present at 11:59 p.m. will be absent for the midnight strike. Like they say, “here this minute gone the next.” That’s life.

Our lives are perpetually dogged by uncertainties and if anything is sure, it is uncertainty. No confusion intended. Reality is, no one knows for sure what the next moment brings.

Why do some of us live as though we are in control of time and circumstances?

What’s up with this neighbour who flung a big stone into his neighbour’s yard after a quarrel with a promise to deal with his case later that day? As fate determined, the threatener went on the road that same day, met in an accident and did not return to keep his promise. Hope he would have repented before his demise. Take note.

Did you hear of the angry boss who threatened to fire a worker if he did not complete an assignment by 8:00 a.m. the following day? Well, while yelling at someone else a few hours later, his blood pressure skyrocketed, he got a massive stroke and was buried a few weeks later.

Forgive my morbidity as I try to make the point: we are not as strong and powerful as we think we are. Always endeavour, therefore, to be at peace with everyone and dig ditches for none.


As indicated earlier, in every situation we find ourselves, there are factors that we can control and factors that we can’t. Understanding how to manage in life’s sea of uncertainties is always useful. By focusing on the things we can control and leaving the rest to the Almighty, starting now, our little can be a little paradise. We can never control the thought processes of crazy drivers but we can control their influence on how we behaviour on the roadways.

According to the experts, to cope in an atmosphere of uncertainty, it is important that we shift from an external to an internal locus of control. An external locus of control means that we perceive the environment to have more control over our behaviour than ourselves. An internal locus of control means the opposite: we perceive ourselves to have more control over our lives than the environment.

People with an internal locus of control tend to be happier and more proactive than people with an external locus of control, because they tend to “know the time of day”.

Whether we are controlled by external or internal factors, one thing we are certain of, is that whenever we “love our neighbours as ourselves and do unto others as we would have them do unto us”, we find true meaning to life.

“Maturity, one discovers, has everything to do with the acceptance of not knowing.” – Mark Z. Danielewski

“Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom”. (Psalm 90:12)

Let’s say thanks to some neighbours as we reach to others listed below.


* Siccone, St Ann – for offering a refrigerator to Karen, mother of seven, Kingston 

* Millicent, Kingston – for offering a mattress to a neighbour 

* Neighbour – for clothing and other goodies for the entire family

* Everybody’s Pharmacy – for acts of neighbourliness


* Sasha, St Mary – In a very tough situation; asking for second-hand building materials: ply board, zinc, etc.

* Neighbour – Unemployed single mother needs help to build a chicken coop.

* Sandra, Clarendon – Asking for a stove and a refrigerator.    

* Neighbour – Wrestling with stage four cancer, seeking help to repair parent’s house -falling apart.

* Jennel, St Ann – Single mother of 4, unemployed needs a bed and food

* Yasmin, St Thomas – Asking for a dining table and a stove.

* Mrs Laing, Clarendon – Asking for stove and food items.

- To help, please call Silton Townsend @ 334-8165, 884-3866, or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to HELLO NEIGHBOUR C/o 53 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 10; Paypal/credit card: email: Or contact e-mail Mr Townsend exclusively manages the collections and distributions mentioned in this column and is neither an employee nor agent of The Gleaner.