Love Thy Neighbour

by Jacob de Graaf

Because of the Covid-19 crisis we have, as most of you will have been, in lock down for the past weeks. At the same time, we’re in the process of having sold our first house and are ready to move to the Netherlands. This is right now not possible of course, but we are lucky to have found some temporary accommodation until we can.
During the last few weeks in our old home, I was especially touched by the kindness of our neighbours. We were checking in on one another, and shared some shopping whenever we were getting orders in. One neighbour whom we hardly knew surprised us by leaving an Easter egg at our front door. In our new place there was a lovely sense of neighbourhood as well when we all came out our front doors to clap for the NHS (National Health Service) on Thursday night.
We will miss our lovely neighbours that we’ve gotten to know over the past years, but we are also looking forward to making new acquaintances.
Reflecting on all of this, I felt inspired to make a Quaker style pattern with the words “Love Thy Neighbour” (from the book of Matthew, 22:39 - “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”). I love this quote as, to me, it surpasses religion and says a lot about human kindness and being good to one another. In this crisis, more than before, we are learning to be kinder - whether your neighbour lives next to you or on the other side of the planet is irrelevant, as we can all choose to be kind to each other.

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