A year is about to bow out and we are expectantly waiting for another, hoping it may bring about good tidings. Although the year 2020 has been wrought with a devastating pandemic and its shattering aftermath, let us try to look back at other events that have been eclipsed by it. The COVID crisis has infected over 77 million people across the globe and 1.7 million have lost their lives. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has estimated that over 400 full-time jobs have been lost across the world with the income of the workforce falling by more than 10%. This has severely affected the global economy.
However among this gloom, there are rays of hope as Israel and some of the Arab states have decided to shake off the burden of their decades-long enmity and move towards a more cordial and peaceful neighbourly relationship. The Anti-Racist sentiments in the US have received a boost after the unfortunate killing of George Floyd of Minneapolis.
If we look at our own country, the year has started with a mass movement against the Citizens’ Amendment Bill in Shaheen Bag in Delhi which was followed up in other parts of the country. The year is ending with the Farmers’ Agitation against the new Farm Bill, which though started in Punjab has now find support amongst not only the farmers but other Indians as well. I bring up these two specific incidents as both mark shifts from the usual mode of any agitation in the past which have mostly turned to violence and loss of public properties. But these protests are peaceful. The protesters of Shaheen Bag are mostly women who have come to the forefront while citizens of all gender and age groups are participating in the Farmers’ agitation who are showing the greatest restraint, dignity, determination and fortitude.
In this connection a very beautiful post in a social medium comes to my mind and I wish to share it verbatim.
‘Four candles slowly burned. The ambiance was so soft, one could almost hear them talking.
The first candle said ‘I am Peace. The world is full of anger and fighting. Nobody can keep me lit” Then the flame of peace went out completely.
The second candle said: “I am Faith. I am no longer indispensable. It doesn’t make a sense that I stay lit another moment.” Just then a breeze softly blew Faith’s flame.
Sadly the third candle began to speak: “I am Love! People don’t understand the importance so they simply put me aside. They even forget to love those who are nearest to them.” And waiting o longer Love’s flame went out.
Suddenly a child entered the room and saw the three unlit candles. “Why aren’t you burning? You’re supposed to stay lit till the end.” Saying this, the child began to cry. Then the fourth candle answered: “Don’t be afraid. I am Hope! While I am still burning we can re-lit the other candles.”
With shining eyes the child took the candle of hope and lit the other candles. The Greatest of these is Love… but the flame of Hope should never go out of your life! With hope each of us can live in Peace, Faith and Love.”
In December the world celebrates the message of love Jesus brought unto this world. We too remember this great message.
We expectantly wait for a new year to begin with a new resolve of love, peace and faith in the Almighty. Let us renew our bond with the fellow human beings and invite all to the Maghotsava to share that love, happiness and sense of brotherhood. Let our payer be ‘Dear God, You are my light and hope. Please fill my heart with Peace and Faith in You. Please make me an instrument of Your love and let Your light to shine on all my efforts.’.