In times of celebration, we have the humble responsibility to give back to the community that contributes to our happiness.
Our community shapes us into the individuals we are. Communities nurture us during our childhood and contribute to our development well into our youth. In times of celebration, we then have the humble responsibility to give back to the community that contributes to our happiness. Amidst the festivities that lace the celebrations of our nears and dears, here are seven easy ways to give back to your community this Diwali season:
Volunteer your Time
Find a charitable organization, cause or group that you identify with and volunteer your services at a food shelter, hospital or soup kitchen. A great idea is to light up the day of a senior who may not have a friend to celebrate Diwali with. The options are endless and so are the many blessings you will get in return.
Donations are not just financial. If you have the means and the health to do so, helping others in need through hair or blood donations are potential options. Furthermore, participating in seasonal food or toy drives that begin this time of the year can help the underprivileged. As you indulge in the Diwali cleaning, consider donating items such as books, lightly used clothing, bicycles, school supplies, or bags that you would otherwise throw away.
Promote Local Businesses and Talent
Given that your community has led you to be the professional or student that you are, help others achieve their dreams by buying local whenever you can. This is not just limited to goods, but also attending events put together by local artists, especially surrounding artistic expressions of the Diwali spirit.
A simple smile or ‘hello’ can turn a bad day into a good one. Diwali is about illuminating those around you by treating all as your own. Hold the door open, help a senior cross the road and do not hesitate to give compliments. If you want to take this to the pro level, leave an anonymous motivational note for someone to find and read. Sometimes, an effortless act such as lending your ear to an acquaintance can be a game-changer in someone’s life.
Bringing light into the world is not someone else’s responsibility. Often, we leave communal vices to be managed by others. If you see litter, instead of blaming others, be proactive and throw it in the garbage. If someone is in trouble, assist them in a safe manner rather than being a bystander.
Share your Knowledge
Help tutor school children or give career advice to a struggling youth. Diwali traditions include that of gifting; what better gift than that of knowledge? Often, educational institutions are speaking for professionals or even students that can share their experiences with others. Educating community members about opportunities and sharing resources is an investment back into the community that invested in you.
Start at Home
This Diwali, reflect on yourself. Make your living space, lifestyle and those you live with a reflection on the community you want. If something seems amiss in the community, look first into the values being embedded in your household. Teach the younger ones what you would like to spread into the world and become a compelling role-model!
The rewarding experience of taking such small steps to contribute to your community paves the path to common good. Being a good citizen triggers a chain reaction and creates a network of change-makers. With just a small gesture, you can create an everlasting impact that transcends well beyond the act. Spread the light within you!