Staying true to the spirit of Deepavali
Deepavali signifies the conquest of light over darkness. As our country waddles out of COVID-19, many of us are wishing and praying that we will see the light at the end of this tunnel as well.
With a form of lockdown still in place (i.e., visitations limited to 2 unique visitors to households, social gatherings of up to 2 persons only and dining out also limited by that same number), this Deepavali is likely to be a muted affair once again. Or is that necessarily so?
The message of Deepavali is not to hope and pray that adversity disappears altogether. There will always be adversities in this world. It is more about having the courage and wisdom to navigate the adversities thrown in our way.
To do that, we should first seek to remove the darkness and fear in our hearts and minds. What kind of fear are we talking about here? The fear over contracting COVID-19 and its repercussions for our safety is obvious. But let’s address a few other fears that COVID-19 has created:
- Fear that we cannot be happy in this new normal.
- Fear that we cannot continue living fulfilling lives.
- Fear over our livelihood and jobs
- Fear of going out.
When we try to deal with fear, an important delineation needs to be made between recklessness (the disregard for the threats that do indeed exist) and courage that is guided by wisdom. The former is a state of denial. The latter is about recognizing the threats and risks, taking the necessary precautions and being undaunted. That is the light of wisdom that Deepavali shines upon us.
The current festivities are not a license to disregard the rules. That is not the path to happiness and peace.
Rather, as we usher in the festivities, let us do so with wisdom and courage as our guide. Not by disregarding lockdown rules but by abiding them and finding creative ways to celebrate. For happiness is ultimately in our minds, hearts, and souls.
The message of Deepavali is not to hope and pray that adversity disappears … it is more about having the courage and wisdom to face whatever adversities are thrown in our way.
Since the pandemic emerged, we have found creative ways to circumvent the risks and find new ways to go about our lives. The human condition is remarkable in terms of its adaptability – we have brought to market a vaccine in record time, we have found ways to work without being physically present at the office, we have found ways to interact with one another socially.
Let’s be creative in how we celebrate as well. Just as with work, let’s talk to our relatives and friends over Zoom; let’s spread out our visitations over a few days; let’s exchange pictures and videos of our celebrations over social media etc.
And this Deepavali, let’s have a little faith and confidence in ourselves, and in our fellow human beings, that come what may, the light will eventually prevail.
Happy Deepavali Greetings!
The SG:Indian Team
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