What a wonderful time of year to be in India. October is full of celebration and a time that family and friends enjoy time together. A time to reach out to others. For those of us who live in northern India, this is the time of year that the temperature goes down and we no longer need to sweat every time we walk out the door. When I first arrived, I was also unfamiliar with the many cultural celebrations that occur at this time of year in India. According to the information that I have read, Diwali is the largest celebration of the year and one of the happiest holidays in India. People clean and decorate their homes, shop for everything from household items to jewellery and eat sweets reserved only for this time of year. My personal favorite are the fireworks except when I am trying to sleep.
This reminds me of the verse in the book of Ecclesiastes 1:2-3. 'To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.' In the spirit of the cultural traditions of India we could also add a time for shopping, food and fireworks.
Jesus Christ teaches that we are to 'feed His sheep'. In other words that we are to reach out to our fellow man and help lift, strengthen and encourage. The scriptures also reference that, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. (Amos 8:11) That is truly becoming our day. There are many of our family, friends and others who seek uplift and spiritual strengthening. The prophet Thomas S. Monson recently said, 'May be begin now, this very day to express love to all of God's children whether they be our family members, our friends, mere acquaintances or total strangers. As we arise each morning let us determine to respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our way.'
I hope and pray that each of us will enjoy this season and take the time to reach out in love and kindness to all those around us. Let it be a time of peace, joy, forgiveness, happiness, kindness and certainly enjoyment. Go find someone who may have been forgotten or who may need a bit of uplift and reach out with love and kindness. We know that as you do this both receiver and giver will be blessed. Have a wonderful month.
With love and kindness,