It is easy to find a great neighbour, you be a good neighbour.
How often do you check on your neighbours? This is very important as it could save a life.
Here is a story of the importance of being a good neighbour, that landed in my message box
There was a man who lived in a two-room house with his wife and three children. Before the war he was gainfully employed and was living a good life. But when war broke out in Yemen, it created a lot of difficulties and problems that changed everything for the family.
The man lost his job as his employers went under. He could no longer provide for his family but he went out daily with the hope of finding work to support his family. Most days he returned empty handed. So, most nights his pregnant wife and kids went to bed hungry.
One night, he came back and found his wife in severe labour pain. He rushed her to the Emergency Room at Al-Khazzan Hospital in Sanaa. But before leaving the house for the hospital, since it was late at night and he did not want to disturb the neighbours, he locked the children in from the outside as they slept peacefully.
At the hospital, the doctors, after examining his wife, informed him that his wife needed immediate Cesarean Section if mother and baby are to be saved.
He was told to pay fifty thousand Yemeni Rials (about 40 US dollars) to the accounts office. He did not have the money, so he begged the Medical Director to authorize the operation to save his wife and baby, promising to go raise the money and pay afterwards. The Director agreed, on compassionate grounds, to perform the C-Section, but insisted that the mother and baby would not be released until he paid the money. He accepted the terms and so the operation was authorized.
The man left the hospital to search for money, not knowing from who, or where he will get such huge amount of money. The country was in deep straits and everyone, including the high and mighty, was in a bad shape financially. Besides he did not know or have access to many rich people. His social circle was small and mainly plebs.
His mind was preoccupied, wondering how to raise the money and was inattentive while crossing a busy road and a car knocked him down, killing him instantly.
Some passers-by gathered and, not knowing who he was and who to contact about the accident, took the body to the morgue at Kuwait Hospital. The hospital also did not know who he was or who to contact and, therefore, tagged the body as “unknown”.
After seven days at Al-Khazzan Hospital, the Director of the hospital concluded that the man had absconded, abandoning the woman and her child. He told the woman that her husband was a cheat. Not knowing why her husband did not return, the wife could not defend him. The woman wept as she expressed the hope that her husband would show up and pay up.
The story began to spread about a man who brought his wife to the hospital and abandoned her, leaving a huge bill unpaid. People whispered among themselves how irresponsible the man was. At the same time, the story of a man who was crushed to death by a hit-and-run driver as he came out of the hospital and attempted to cross the road, began to emerge.
Could the death man be the one who was thought to have absconded?
The hospital authorities investigated and established that the time of the accident tallied with the time the woman’s husband stepped out of the hospital. So, the Director took the woman for an identification check. The dead man was indeed her missing husband. The woman was deeply shocked and completely devastated. The load was too heavy to bear. People spoke of how unfortunate she was.
Meanwhile, nobody had heard anything about the children since their father locked them in and rushed their mother to the hospital exactly a week ago. Neighbours had not seen them and nobody bothered to check on them. The house stood silent, with no sound or movement.
Back in the hospital, the woman was discharged and released unconditionally. The hospital authorities were so generous that they even gave her some medical and food supplies and asked the ambulance crew to take her home. When they got to the house, the door was still locked. The ambulance crew helped her to break the door. When they entered, they were greeted by three decomposing bodies. The children, unable to break the door open and with no food to eat, had struggled and died painfully of starvation. For seven days, no neighbour had checked on them.
The woman collapsed and died instantly. Her heart failed due to debilitating shock and monstrous grief. Her newly born baby was thus left fatherless, motherless and siblingless, an avoidable tragedy if only the neighbours had been a bit more neighbourly.
Please, always check on your neighbors and loved ones who are vulnerable in times of crisis and hardship. Do not be so self-centered that you never check on your neighbours.
Be friendly and neighbourly, remember an ènemy neigbhour is better than a distant friend in a crisis.
Covid and social distancing has further added to the gap that has been created by social media.
I am hoping, all the good mornings are messages of their wellness