Perhaps it is fitting that the best of our kind are so plagued with sadness, having seen so much of it themselves, the desire to inflict the same in those around them never truly takes root.
I remember doing seva in langar as a kid, while doing it the only time you looked at another persons plate was to see if it was if it was empty and if it was you made sure it was filled but if it was filled you never took it away. While I don’t spend as much time there, nor am I as religious that particular concept always resonated with me. That governing belief I have carried throughout of my life in that the only time you should look at others to see if they have enough, if not, see to it they do.
Throughout human history there is there was an element of untouchability that we applied to our fellow human beings, the belief that certain people were beneath others the fact their mere touch would be polluting. Such a system existed in India through caste, in japan as Burakumin, and often was culturally socially and religiously enforced. While this system was wrong, that is not to say untouchables do not exist. The true untouchable is not born as such, nor made to be. The true untouchable pollutes not with his body but with his mind his surroundings, he who chooses to divide our beautiful humanity, defiles the ideologies of unity to ones of division. The true untouchable is a product of choice, for he who is the one who chooses to hate.
We all know those wandering souls, those strange people that seeming appear from nowhere at the door step of our existence. They enter into our lives as a guest would ones home, they stay for a time yet unselfishly they do not a make a home of it yet care for it all the same. Like all guests they too must leave, going as they came without any expectation. Yet what remains is the impression they make on you, how they change you.Even in their taking leave they manage to give. It is only then their beauty is truly understood.
In my culture when a person is dead they are burned, that how it is, that how it should be. Yet in forgetting forgiveness, in holding on to their hate, their anger so many come to lie in their funeral pyres long before their time. Flames recognizing neither the dead nor alive consume a man all the same. It is up to a man how he wants to meets that fire, at peace and at rest or in a state of turmoil and alive.
People often hear the phrase home is where the heart is, yet people often forget the heart is not so much unlike a home. A home can have many guests who occupy it for a time, like all guests they must eventually take their leave. Yet the one who stays the owner, didn’t do so by theft, for one cannot lift and steal a home nor they can steal a heart as people are apt to say; no they are simply came back to what always to belonged to them, they simply came home. In occupying a heart as a home, they bring warmth and light where once darkness and coldness existed in emptiness.
The religious tomes speak of a god creating man in his own image. I cannot speak of the veracity of that for its matter of faith and not facts. However what I do know is that man and his kind has and continues to, shape this world in his own reflecting both the great cruelties and compassion that resides within him.
I don’t believe in being in cutthroat competition with others, in jobs or anything, if I can help them I try. The thing is I find with people is at the end of the day is, I find it much easier to stand behind them in support than to fall in front of them in defeat.
In being compassionate, one eliminates the enemy without eliminating the human being.
So today is the day of Diwali, a day of celebration marked millions of Hindus and Sikhs worldwide. While it is widely known for themes of family get together’s, going to religious and the setting off fireworks. Sikhs however we should not neglect the history behind it. For today marks the day marks the release from prison, the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind. He was wrongfully imprisoned by the Intolerant Mughal empire of India, along with him were 52 innocent Rajahs. Eventually the Emperor had a change of heart and allowed that the Guru be released. The Guru refused unless others were freed as well, the emperor conceded saying that however many Rajahs could hold his coat could leave with him, in the knowledge that this would limit them to a few. The Guru instead had a special cloak woven with 52 corners, and proceeded to lead all 52 Rajahs out of the prison to freedom. I believe in that spirit of freedom and opposition to tyranny and injustice is what Diwali should be about. Such an act was necessary then as it now for tyranny and injustice still continue to this very day, as is the need to stand against it. So instead of people spending money on sweets which are not only bad for health as Punjabi community continues to struggle with diabetes and heart disease, I propose that we ought to use that money and donate Amnesty International. an organization that’s symbol is a lit candle an organization whose motto is “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness” not unlike the purpose of the lit divas of our faith, but most importantly it is a group that perpetuates the fight for the rights of the wrongly imprisoned, stand opposed to injustices that our fellow human beings continue to face. Its good that we celebrate the greats deeds of our storied past, rather than merely celebrate we ought to be a reflection of that in our present, and build upon that foundation laid so long ago rather than merely admire it.