In the midst of this Diwali Festival, it is hard to believe that the U.S. Presidential election was called a week ago tomorrow and yet so much tension remains. How I long for the days when coming together for the benefit of one’s nation was lived out as a humble calling and the politics of grievance weren’t so pervasive. Whether you are reading this from South Asia in the midst of Diwali or somewhere in the USA—or anywhere in between—I pray that each of you continues to remain focused on what you can do to bring light to our communities and world.
The Hindu Festival of Lights is an opportunity to recall the way each of us is called to be a light for the world. Light in times of darkness. Light in the face of despair. Light to lead us on a path to the deeper understanding that is born from love of self and love of neighbor.
No matter what your partisan persuasion and, especially, in the face of so many autocrats in the countries in which IPM works, I trust we can all agree that fighting for the kind of society we want for our children and friends is a struggle worth engaging in. Our world is beset with pandemic, gender inequality, racial injustice, climate change, and so many other challenges; it can be more than a little daunting.
And yet, each challenge is an opportunity to do more and to do it well. Each of us is ably equipped to be the light and leaven our sisters and brothers so desperately need.
As we join our Indian & Nepali colleagues & friends in commemorating Diwali, may we remain open to those with whom we disagree while remaining vigilant in the struggle for justice & peace. And may we find the courage to be a source of light in the midst of darkness and the resilience to speak & act for the dawn of a brighter day.
Joseph F. Cistone
IPM Chief Executive Officer
November 14, 2020