The words from our Ardas acknowledge the challenge facing us today: “Dekh ke andith kita“, “Remember those who have seen the fault of others, but overlook those faults.” Every time we pray, we acknowledge that human shortcoming of seeing the faults in others. This is normal, human behavior. But through the grace of our Guru we can transcend this human condition and be granted the divine inspiration to look beyond the flaws to see God in every human being. If it were easy, we would not have to pray daily for the strength and ability to do so. It is extremely difficult. How important is this ability? Obviously very important because we remember those who achieve this in the same breath as our remembrance of the Punj Piare, the Four Sons of the Tenth Master and the Forty Liberated One. We must seek that Divine aspect within our human consciousness in order to achieve this.
At a time when the world seems to be taking sides against us we cannot allow ourselves to start picking each other apart. We lose before we even begin if we cannot overcome the human propensity to find fault and allow the Divine Spark within us to see that Divine Spark within others. My humble request is that we avoid the natural human tendency to rush to judgment, find the ability to look beyond these faults for the moment and maintain our unity.
In 1971 I made a decision that changed my life forever. I became a Sikh of the Guru. During my thirty years as a Sikh the hardest thing I have had to deal with has not been the negative reactions of the American people to my turban and flowing beard or the bigotry and discrimination I experience at the hands of the citizenry of my native land. What has been most difficult and painful for me has been how the members of my chosen religious community seem to find ways to create fights within itself, to allow itself to be divided; to let itself be torn apart from within by seeing every difference, then dissecting and magnifying them. One of my early lessons about my new faith and my new religious family was that if we did not have a common enemy to fight we often turned upon ourselves and began to tear ourselves apart. It was so difficult watching the fights, which were usually power struggles over position and control. It still is.