Well, I just read through some of the comments from the pictures/videos I posted a few days ago and can see that some of you were pretty busy! You would think this was a discussion forum!
I have to say I did feel a little vulnerable when I read some of the critical comments. It made me feel like I really have to be careful what I post on the blog, otherwise I am going to get this or that critical remark. For me posting to the blog is VERY personal. I really am putting my life out there on the net. And as you can see it is open game for criticism. It’s ok though, I take it with a grain of salt, but it makes me realize how differently people think.
You have to realize that myself or any of my family are not “perfect Sikhs” (if there is such a think). Just because I started SikhNet does not make me a Super Sikh. I am not trying to portray myself like this, and am definitely not a “Sikhi Expert”.
What I do know is that myself and my family are constantly striving to be better people. Being a Sikh really is a huge part of our every day life. You can’t judge that by whether or not we do or do not do XYZ. I know many Sikhs who don’t outwardly look like Sikhs…but are such spiritual people and have way more of a connection to the Guru than other “turbaned” Sikhs that I know.
I don’t think it is about whether or not you “follow all the rules”. Guru Nanak questioned so many rituals and practices that were happening in his times. These days it seems like many are going down the path of losing touch with the meaning of things, and the practices are becoming rituals. God gave us all the gift of a brain and great intelligence to think for ourselves. Life is not Black and White. Being a Sikh is not about following the “rule book”. I get so frustrated at times when I hear people scolding others for not “following the rules”. It’s not to say that we shouldn’t have guidelines and structure. That is needed. It is just that many get so locked into things as “right and wrong” and judge others based on that. There also becomes a narrow minded approach and NOT tuning into their high consciousness to make decisions for themselves.
I think we should be focused on supporting each other no matter what our level of practice (of Sikhi is) rather than focusing on the negative which discourages people. The more support we give, the more a person can grow in their spiritual practice.
Being a Sikh is a challenge. It takes discipline. It’s a daily practice. I feel that some level of daily practice is better than trying to do more than you can sustain and then stopping. My wife did take Amrit and she is a VERY devoted and spiritual woman. I don’t think it is fair to her or to me to be critical of things. We do our best to support, ENCOURAGE and INSPIRE each other when needed. Someone’s spiritual practice is between them and their Guru. No one has the right to criticize someone else. Think what you want. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just feel that without knowing the full picture of someone and their life, critical remarks can only be from a very narrow view of someone’s life. We are much better off to give support and encouragement so that they might be a better person.
Why do I put my life up on the internet? Well, I hope that people will see other perspectives and be inspired to make changes in their own lives. The biggest problem I have seen in my experience with other Sikhs is what I so often mention as the “Black and white” perspective on life as a Sikh. The judgmental and critical way of doing things. Which divides and pushes people away. I want to see this change.
I have found that the key to changing something in my life is to be aware of the problem. Many of us do things without really thinking about it or being aware of what we are doing. Then when someone brings it to your attention you may start catching yourself doing that thing. With that awareness you can then make a change and stop doing that thing, or do it differently.
I’m sure I’ll write more about all this in the future, but I just wanted to post some thoughts. I hope people will be a little more open and realize that we are all on this journey of life together. The more we share and support each other, the easier that journey will be. Myself and my wife may not fit the mold of what all people think as a true Gursikh, but I don’t think it matters what others think. We will go on doing what we do, which we do for ourself and not to prove something to someone else.
I appreciate all the love and support from so many of you, which has been overwhelming. It serves as fuel, motivates me to become a better person, and work more on my spiritual practice as a Sikh. This I hope will then grow my ability to share Guruji’s light with others who are in need.