When I was in 1st grade/class in a public school in America I had different experiences being a Sikh and different. Kids used to say I was a girl and tease me because of my turban. That wasn’t too bad, but what was worse for me was how they made fun of my sandwiches (No, really!)
I was raised to eat very healthy food. We used to eat a lot of alfalfa sprouts (from the seeds) in our salads and in sandwiches to give extra nutrition. This was not the norm for most people in America who are used to having fast food and other processed foods. When I would eat the sandwiches at school the kids would see the sprouts and tease me that I was eating worms. This really bothered me. I told my mother about it and she had an idea.
Every friday we had “Show and Tell”, which was a time that you could show or tell the class about something interesting. That friday I had my show and tell idea. I was equipped with a jar, some seeds, a cloth and a rubber band. I then stood up in front of the class and told them that I was going to show them how to make sprouts from seeds. After showing them how it was done we kept the jar in the window so it would get sun. We watched it every day over the next couple days, and soon the sprouts filled the whole jar. All the kids thought it was pretty cool after I did that demonstration. I never did have a problem with eating “worms” after that week.
The point of the story is that even as adults we judge and criticize people. Much of this comes from a lack of understanding and not accepting people with differences. So, with a little effort we can avoid this by educating ourselves and others around us. Allowing for other ways of doing things (even if is different than your way). We are all Sikhers on this path of life, and are on many different roads. Your road is not better or worse than someone else’s.