Valentine’s day was filled with a lot of love shout outs to friends, family and loved ones. Text messages, calls and gifts were exchanged and even on the social media we shared this special occasion of love with one another. I actually enjoyed myself in the blogging community meeting new friends and visiting other blogs. Reminiscing over this activity in delight it suddenly occurred to me that we all seem to feel comfortable connecting and chatting with other people on the social media platform while we won’t even utter a simple hello to our neighbors.
How many of us truly know our next door neighbor? Privacy seems to be the bane of modern society.
I once lived in a neighborhood where i didn’t even know who lived next door. If i were to meet him or her i wasn’t likely to recognize the person…it was simply a mind your business neighborhood…don’t disturb me…i don’t disturb you!
Somewhere down the line we moved to a different neighborhood. The new area was quiet and i was glad. It is a compound which housed three flats initially and later became four because our landlord needed to make some more money. I was happy that the house was newly renovated house. We settled in and began to live our lives but there was something about our next door neighbor that left us unsettled.
On her way out of the house she would raise her voice and greet…“Mummy David e kaaro o” and on her way back from the day’s work she would greet aloud again, “mummy David e ku ile o!” The funny thing is that she would greet all the other tenants one after the other as well mentioning their names. When the adults don’t respond she would turn her attention to the kids: “Children goodmorning o!” and my children would respond from wherever they were in the house, “grandma goodmorning ma!”. By the way we are not related but in Africa every neighbor, uncle, aunt,elderly person is a potential mummy, daddy, grandma etc. We the younger generation felt very uncomfortable by this exuberant show of neighborliness displayed by our beloved neighbor. This attitude is what we refer to in modern parlance, “an infringement of our precious privacy”.
I wondered whether this insistence of our privacy in modern society is what might be responsible for all the unhealthy self-love we see around. And by that i mean, have we become more selfish as individuals? Stories of people who died in their homes only to be found weeks later abound on the pages of our newspaper. If such individuals and their neighbors were friendly and cared for each other more, the story might not have ended that way.
Still on this my very un-private neighbor, one day the door to the room where she used to iron in her house slammed shot and the lock jammed. Unfortunately the key to the door was not on the lock and the main entrance door to her house was also locked. Trust her she raised an alarm calling all of us living in the compound to come to her rescue. Thank goodness we were all at home that day. My husband and one other neighbor worked her through the process of getting the door unlocked as we tore her window net and passed a knife through it. Finally she got her out of the house and we all celebrated the victory. It felt so nice when her children who lived abroad phoned to thank us all for rescuing their mother. Now imagine if everyone had been minding their businesses…she probably would have been in that house all alone for as long as i can not even begin to think. I ask again when does our privacy infringements right become too much?
I know the world is a lot more complicated and there are lots of “not so good people” out there but hey show some neighborly kindness maybe not like my precious neighbor. Love your neighbor as yourself. It might save you,it might save your neighbor.
Mummy David, e karo: Good morning mummy David
Mummy David, e ku ile: Hello , i am back home
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