By Not Known

In a Jurong Town Council newspaper which is circulated every quarter, there was an article entitled “Love your neighbours”.  A quote by Mdm Halimah Yacob (one of our MPs and current Speaker of Parliament) followed:
“Neighbours who don’t know each other, don’t care for each other, that’s the problem. If we did know them, we wouldn’t want to do anything to hurt their feelings. If we care for them, loud music, dripping laundry, throwing things out of the window just won’t happen. We need an internally driven change of heart.” She continues: “.. during her block visits when she asks residents, “Are you happy here?” and their answer is Yes, the reason given is nearly always “Because I have nice neighbours. Good neighbours make a neighbourhood nice.”

Mdm Halimah was of course referring to HDB residents in the Jurong area which covers Bukit Batok, Yuhua, Taman Jurong, Jurong Spring, and Jurong Central. No doubt other Town councils would echo her sentiments, for good neighbourliness and a caring spirit is essential for strong community bonds.

Creating community is about being friendly, considerate and accepting each other’s differences. Patience and tolerance are also important as we accommodate each other. Occasionally I hear the loud voices of young people coming home late, their bikes being revved noisily after midnight. Almost every week a resident in the opposite block gives the whole neighbourhood a vocal solo performance for about 15 minutes, singing at the top of his voice!

In many estates, funerals or weddings are held in void decks or covered shelters which means residents must forgo the use of those areas for a few days and put up with more vehicles and noise. Sometimes rubbish is left on lift landings instead of being disposed of properly. Supermarket trolleys are abandoned on the ground floor and even in stairwells.  Kids yell loudly when they play 5 a-side soccer. We sigh because we know we must be forbearing. Paul says, “Live in harmony with one another… as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”(Rom 12:15,18)

As we anticipate National Day this week let us celebrate our unity amidst diversity, and foster a sense of genuine neighbourliness by being considerate and caring. Community building requires effort. Come to think of it, these qualities are important for our church community as well. The church is about people. We must care for each other as we work and serve shoulder to shoulder. Neighbourliness and caring for each other make a church nice too.


Graham Ng