Diwali – a different way to shine this festival season

Posted By: Poonam Srivastava/Atika Singh                

The frenzy of preparing for Diwali is catching up and the festive spirit is all round us. Many of us unknowingly end up trying to one better our performance from each-other or from last year’s celebrations in our excitement of planning for gifts, decorations, partying, food, firecrackers and what all. It’s a good opportunity to pause and ponder. Is there a better way to shine through with some unique ideas of celebrations that add to our joy of celebration but maybe also contribute to some larger good?

Consider the exchange of gifts that we undertake at this time. Sadly for some of us it becomes a routine of recycling goods that we do not seek or need. Hence many of us are simply forwarding packages after evaluating their worth and indirectly our own social standing. It is a pity that precious feelings of good wishes meant to be exchanged on such happy occasions become translated in to such materialistic monetized concepts. Why not break this practice and do something different. Instead of routine gifts we can use this festive season to help favorite charitable causes and maybe make contributions which would help some of the less privileged also celebrate the festival more joyfully. We can do this jointly with our circle of friends and decide on maybe sending simple greeting cards with donation cards that indicate values of donation made on behalf of the whole group instead of using the same funds for sundry gifts which are often not needed or appreciated.

There is a lot of concern for the excessive smog that is enveloping the environment in cities like Delhi at the moment. Coupled with problems of other types of toxic air and sound pollution, firecrackers have always been a problem subject for environmentalists and conscious citizens. It has been heartening to observe school children take the lead in past years and discourage rampant bursting of firecrackers on Diwali. We could choose more peaceful ways of celebration that are less environmentally damaging this time round.

Expanding your circle of kindness is another great way of adding to your happiness and to that of others touched by your generosity. While we gorge on sweets and goodies lets share a little of these niceties with strangers we encounter who might not have access to the fun and merry like us. I know a group of friends that meditate together who decided to make Diwali cards for police personnel on duty during festival time as a special gesture of gratitude for their services!

Do share your stories of other ideas on making it a truly unique festival of shine.

Happy Diwali:)

(Poonam Srivastava is a Delhi based writer who has published books and articles on subjects of social innovation and practical spirituality. She also actively volunteers her time to promote causes related to these spheres.)

(Atika Singh is a post graduate in Counseling Psychology from Amity Institute of Behavioral & Allied Sciences and graduate in History from Delhi University. She has been actively involved in the emotional counseling space; and is passionate about empowering individuals to deal with their personal and professional issues, and achieve greater success. She is a certified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner.)
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