Diwali brings us brightness through the billions of lamps and firecrackers. Does this brightness win over the dark sides of our homes, families, societies and humanity?
Thanks to the globalisation process – Diwali is an international festival now! A few decades ago, it used to be one of the many festivities of the Hindus. However now, it is one of the global events that help define humanity and integrates people across religions, races and cultures. The festivities hold different significance to different people, but the overarching thought is about dispelling darkness and welcoming brightness. Darkness is about narrow-mindedness, inhumanity, violence, jealousy, envy and so on… And brightness is about kindness, open-mindedness, humility, trust, courtesy, purity of mind and so on…
Let’s look at what’s happening around us! People around the world have easier access to various resources, may it be financial, physical or intellectual. However, we are also faced with continuing violence, inhumanity, jealousy and so on. One wonders why increase in literacy and access to information is not leading to purity of thoughts; why do we find our neighbours more distant than ever before; why do we find our friendship more superficial and unreal than ever before; why the feeling of humanity doesn’t manifest easily! I think, we have access to information but not knowledge and intellect. Our need of being social has transformed into the number of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ on media like facebook! Isn’t this very transactional, robotic and superficial conversation? How does one go deeper and get to learn others’ feelings, perspectives, thoughts and beliefs? It is not that technology, globalisation and social media are bad and the old was gold. There will be always changes taking place in the way we live our lives. We need to learn how to adapt with our changing times and climb a few steps on the ladder of humanity. Some of us belittle the past and olden practices. Possibly, that’s why the darkness continues in our lives; we light the lamps and see the brightness; but, are unable to receive the brightness. We have to let the bright light illuminate our hearts and minds.
Like the Swachh Bharat campaign occupying several hours of discussions and instilling some action in the public space, each of us should learn the deeper meaning of the festivities of Diwali and create opportunities for ourselves to let the brightness come into our minds.
May we find the courage to notice the good deeds of others, appreciate them and spread the joy of the good deeds. We will climb a few steps in the ladder of humanity. The dark corners in our livelihood may be the crisis of Eurozone, terrorism, pollution, food insecurity, Ebola attack and many more… The first step is to recognize the fact that we have challenges and solutions as well. The second step is to look around and think about the possibilities. The belief that solutions could be around us is about welcoming the brightness into our minds and hearts. And then, many things in fall in place to lead us to solutions.
Let the Diwali be the occasion to welcome the brightness into our hearts and minds!