Love your neighbour

Naomi Tuikoro Komai and her neighbour and friend, Parmesh Gopal. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Bible verse “love your neighbour as you love yourself” from Mathew 22:39 is a verse that Naomi Tuikoro Komai strongly lives by.

The kind and God-fearing woman from Namata Village in Bau, Tailevu is a staunch Christian whose faith has directed her to make good decisions.

Ms Komai, who resides in Nadovi Settlement, Rakiraki, is a widow with a big heart who loves the company of others.

Over the years, Ms Komai and her late husband had maintained a close relationship with their neighbours — a friendship developed by her husband’s parents.

Ms Komai today still shares that close bond with her neighbour Parmesh Gopal, a retired civil servant.

The story that Ms Komai and Ms Gopal share expresses hopefulness and love among neighbours and one that many can learn from.

With her faith in God as an anchor, Ms Komai took on the responsibility of being her neighbour’s carer — a role she happily took on without prejudice.

As kind and caring as she is, Ms Komai got her neighbour to move in with her at her home in Nadovi.

“At the beginning of this year Ms Gopal was involved in a road accident and was hospitalised for about two months at the Lautoka Hospital and Rakiraki Hospital,” Ms Komai said.

“When Ms Gopal was to be discharged she called me and shared her situation. Seeing how she did not have any family around to take care of her as they lived far away, I quickly told the medical team to bring her home.

“Her home wasn’t suitable for her to live in with her condition (not being able to walk). It would be impossible for her to live on her own.

“I felt it was my responsibility to care for her because she had no one else around at the time. So our beautiful journey started in July this year.”

She said as a Christian she believed that it was her duty to offer help to a friend and neighbour when its needed.

“Sometimes it easy to say we are Christians only in word and not in our actions.

“This was my way of putting the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ when he said “love your neighbor as you love your own self’ into work.

“To me Ms Gopal is more than just a neighbor – she is family.

“We have never looked at our ethnicity as an issue because my faith teaches me that we are all children of God.”

She said what motivated her daily is God’s blessings upon her life.

“I appreciate what I’ve been provided with and I love the famous words of Mother Theresa that not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love,” she said.

She said her message to fellow Fijians during these challenging times was to look out for one another.

“If you know of someone who is in need, reach out and help.

“We are all children of God and we should and must help one another irrespective of one’s ethnicity, gender, economic status and all other labels that we have the tendency to label ourselves with today.

“Our humanity is the one thing that connects all of us. So if you’re given an opportunity to help, do so not because you expect anything in return, but because it is our duty to help one another.”

A highlight to Ms Komai is spending time with her children and grandchildren who visit her and Ms Gopal often.

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