Majorca Daily Bulletin Article

“Go and Do Likewise”

Being Good Neighbours in the Summertide


Revd. Ishanesu Gusha Mallorca 23/07/2022 16:54

The phrase “Go and do likewise” comes from Jesus’ mouth in the parable of the Good Samaritan recorded in Luke 10: 25-37. This is a phrase that is directed to the young Jewish lawyer at the very end of the conversion between him and Jesus.

I will not go back to the details of the parable but only serve to say that it is a discourse that was prompted by the younger lawyer’s question to Jesus, “what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus responded by citing the Shema which prompted another question, “who is my neighbour?” They invited the telling of the parable of the Good Samaritan and this was a long but rich answer. Jesus’ response challenges the commonly held views of what it means to be a neighbour.

In many societies, a neighbour is someone who lives closer to your home. In the parable, Jesus teaches that to be a neighbour means to save the one in need. It’s summer and this is the time when the population of the Island expands three times due to the massive influx of tourists. Tourism is the heartbeat of the Island’s economy but it comes with some social challenges to the residents as well. Some local residents especially those not into business or employed directly in the tourism industry feel their peace and socio-economic life being threatened.

Transport needs to increase and mobility from one place to another is slowed. Supermarkets and other markets places are flooded with tourists as well as other social amenities. Such is life on the island during the summertime. In recent years there have been discussions about reducing the number of tourists entering the Island. Those who are specialists in the sector are the ones in a position to understand the merits of such a proposal but the thrust of this article is on how we can become good neighbours to our visitors?

It becomes a challenge when we perceive those people visiting us as outsiders who are not part of the Island family. The thriving of this Island depends on these visitors. This was the problem with the priest and the Levite; they did not treat the robbed man as part of their life and hence were reluctant to help. The robbed man became a threat to their pure life and not an opportunity for benevolence. These people are visiting the Island as tourists but like any other visitor, they need our help in making their life comfortable and memorable.

These are the prime marketers of the Island when they returned home but it all depends on how we treated them. Do we understand ourselves as part and parcel of the Island’s hospitality industry? As residents, we also form part of the Island hospitality industry though informally. These days more often I meet people who ask for help in terms of where to buy certain goods and when to get buses and taxis for certain destinations, and I take my time trying to assist them because I see them as part of the Island population. I don’t see them as strangers but as brothers and sisters.

Some of them struggle with the local language which makes it more difficult for them to access some of the services in other places. Being good neighbours in this summer tide means being welcoming and lovely to our visitors. It means taking time to honestly address their concerns and needs wherever possible. It means tolerance by embracing the diversity of cultures. It means forgoing some of the luxuries that come with a low population during winter. Jesus said to the young lawyer, “go and do likewise” and I also encourage you today to go and do likewise.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: