Today I had a beautiful day with my family at Gurdwara. It is always nice having that appointment to meet with the Guru and experiencing being with the Sadh Sangat. My wife Arjan brought Charanjeet Kaur to our Gurdwara for the first time, and many of the Sangat got to meet her for the first time. We were there from the very beggining of Gurdwara and almost the last people to leave (Arjan was chatting with lots of people). Generally for the first 40 days or so we take as a private time at home for the parents to bond with the new born child, heal from pregnancy/labor, and allow the baby to acclimate to this new world.
So, here I am now sitting and thinking about the beautiful day and processing heavy thoughts after talking to some friends in England. I have to say I am again saddened when I hear how Sikhs are fighting and putting each other down in the so called name of "Helping". It’s like people are ganging up in a "war", with the sole intention seeming like destruction. Time and time again I am seeing people with some agenda ruthlessly attacking people and organizations. Where is the heart? Where is the compassion? Where is the understanding? Where is the love that the Gurus gave to the people of their time? Most of these things seem to be more like an argument where two people are arguing and no one is listening. It’s just a lot of shouting and noise.
I read some of the stuff people post on the internet about "this and that" being "Anti Gurmat". When I read the messages it comes accross like an emotional soap opera where people are not really thinking and just jumping on some thought that someone typed. There seems to be little effort in trying to be understanding and neutral. People are hacking someone down with a sword or with their finger on the trigger ready to shoot. In case you are wondering…these comments are in relation to negative publicity that some individuals and organizations are on a mission to put out in England about the Sikh Student Camp (which starts in a few weeks). Always bunching the camp with actions of some individuals, or picking at things. With this same line of thinking you could say all Sikhs are bad, because one or two that you met treated you this way. One could argue all day about this type of thing to justify their actions.
The thing I have learnt is that there are always many sides of a story and I feel that in this situation the accusers have blinders on and are picking at things; failing to see the big picture. It’s as if they are on a crusade to "save the world" (in their mind). One of the pieces missing in all this negative talk is all the people that were deeply impacted by this camp in a positive way. I myself participated in the camp last year and had such an AMAZING experience (You can read some of my experiences ). I saw people change before my eyes over the few days that I was there. Yes, mistakes may occur as is only natural and we all do the best to learn from these.
My point of writing this post is not to criticize people, but to bring up the need for youth leadership in the role of being the "fork lift" for people. To raise them up, inspire and help them (NOT to be the building demolisher). Many are too quick to bring out the pitch forks and swords, and condemn people for some action.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t stand up to something that you feel is wrong, but don’t do it with blinders and without heart. Think of Bhai Kanhaiya who gave water and help to the injured enemy soldiers. It’s that type of heart that I am talking about that I feel is missing sometimes. There always seems to be some hidden agenda which is the real motive for many actions.
We all have a choice as to how to spend this precious energy of life. We all complain about the politics and "infighting" that goes on within the Sikh community. How will this change? Who will change this? This change starts with you, and every action and thought that you have. I consciously choose not to involve myself in the let-down/put-down, negative talk, slander, gossip, of others. You can make choices like this too.
I think The Khalsa Panth will only be unified when we learn these lessons and can truly treat each other as brothers and sisters and humans of the one God. Embracing our differences yet leaving behind politics, gossip and hate. Is this too much to ask? I think not. Though this depends on you. Big change starts with each individual. Like the small drop that creates ripples in the water of a pond. Let our love for the Guru be the guiding light, and ripple accross the hearts of all those that we interact with.
So, enough said for one night. Please keep comments civil if you chose to comment on this post.
I’ll leave you all with this audio file from Gurdwara by my friend Nirinjan Kaur.
Aad Gureh Nameh – by Nirinjan Kaur (Vancouver)