Love Thy Neighbour

Singaporeans are house-proud; they keep their houses clean and pretty. That comes naturally.

What is less natural to some is to keep the common spaces outside our homes clean and pretty too, and be proud of these common spaces.  Cluttering the common spaces and obstructing the common spaces are unfriendly acts.  They can also be dangerous.

The recent fires in HDB towns are sharp reminders why we should treat common spaces with respect.

We had five decades building HDB homes.  Now, we want to build community among the residents.  The task of building community is harder but much more important.

That is why the HDB is launching its inaugural Community Week, from May 21.  It has a cute video to carry its message across.

Building community is not a new mission, but we are giving it greater emphasis.  As I said so before, we should now try to recreate the old kampong in our HDB towns.

During this Community Week, HDB will be targeting the youth, aiming to get young people more involved in their local communities. Through the various activities, young Singaporeans will learn about being considerate neighbours, doing good deeds for strangers, and even becoming ambassadors for eco-living in their housing estates.

In the old kampong days, many families lived close to one another. Neighbours shared their everyday delights, and looked out for one another’s children. Every child was the community’s child.

With modernisation, we lost a bit of this kampong spirit. Besides the recent fires in cluttered corridors, we have also heard of more residents complaining about noisy neighbours.

The HDB’s initiatives can be summarised as a campaign to simply “love thy neighbour”, as we all used to do back in the day.

These are great initiatives. Let’s regain this old way of life.  Let’s all be considerate neighbours. This can be as simple as giving the uncle who walks by your corridor a simple smile, or helping the auntie who struggles back home with her groceries.

Love thy neighbour and be awed by the power of love as it radiates through the neighbourhood!


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