The Festival of Lights, also known as Diwali, starts this weekend for a duration of five days. It is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains around the world, to commemorate the triumphs of light over darkness. In other words, a celebration of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair.
“Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” – Psalm 119:105
As a child, I was mesmerised by rows and rows of small clay lamps. I did not know, that not only did they light the homes and yards of my neighbours, but also the hearts of the communities. The rich smell of incense and the aroma of sweet and savoury delicacies bonded different religions and cultures together. We became one community with one objective: Fellowship. Of course, all I was interested was to tuck in a platter of delicious gulab jamuns, laddoos, barfis and halwas.
“Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5
Diwali is an example of a time to reflect on our thoughts and actions. In 2020, we have been faced with unexpected challenges. We have gone through illness, isolation, job losses and death of someone close to us. Often our lives have been taken over by fear and anxiety. Depression has made us hopeless. Our self-belief has disappeared.
When we lose hope, we forget that we have a light within us that never dies. We forget that we have the power to overcome darkness. We stop loving. We stop smiling. We stop living. The only thing that stops us is ourselves when we wallow in sadness and self-pity. We must overcome self-destruction and reach out for the light. We must let go of our negative tendencies.
Arise, shine for your light has come
When we tap into our spirituality, we become aware that we can change our way of thinking. It is like turning on a light in a darkened room. The darkness disappears. And as the light appears, it clears out all the negativity within. It fills us with peace and positive energy. We let go of fear and judgement and welcome faith, hope and love.
Be the Light That Help Others
On World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis wrote on Twitter:
“The ability to stretch forth our hand shows that we possess an innate capacity to act in ways that give meaning to life.”
It is a sign that speaks of closeness, solidarity, and love. It is also an inspiration to better understand some of the initiatives that have been taken to offer concrete support and help to families who find themselves in objective difficulty.
So, today, be the light for someone who could be hurting. Reach out to them and bring them comfort and hope. Enrich their lives with love. People are attracted to others who radiate light. Let us not be selfish and hold on to the light for ourselves, like lighting a lamp and put it in a cupboard. Instead, set it on the table for it to give light to everyone around.
“A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.” – Denis Waitley