Who’s next door

2017-06-06 06:00

“Love your neighbour as yourself” – Leviticus 19:9-18

Times have changed. Human behaviour has changed too, to the extent that we no longer observe these important words.

Today we are too busy to see who is around us. We never have time to show each other love or let each other know we care until the worst happens and then: Boom! Everyone from all the four corners of the neighbourhood is there ...

This was validated recently by two incidents in a period of a month – one in the northern suburbs and the other in the southern suburbs.

Earlier in May, after just a month in my new, quiet neighbourhood, I was puzzled by how few people seemed to live in the area until an accident happened.

It was late at night and a lot of people flocked to our street.

However, still they were only talking to their own family members, making assumptions about what had happened, instead of forming unity and offering help to the traumatised young woman.

Luckily she had her boyfriend living close by. He was the only one to quickly rush to comfort her.

Last week, as I was out covering a story I had to meet neighbours living in the same street, separated either by walls or just living across from each other in the street, with houses facing each other.

Out of the five neighbours involved in this particular incident, the owners hardly knew each other. Excuses ranged from “I don’t care what happens over there” to “I’m not a public person. I respect privacy. I would not know what happens next door or was never bothered as to who is living there”.

These incidents hung in my mind and reminded me of how, with the changing times, we have deviated from humanity and are slowly losing the spirit of ubuntu.

With the rising criminal elements, each person needs the other. We need to stand together, communicate and know each other so it would be easy to notice when something is wrong next door.

Greet your neighbours, poor or rich.

– Nomzamo Yuku


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