I’m often sent negative critical emails from people and today was just another one of those days. I sent out an email request for support to SikhNet users that use the Khalsa.com email service. The person’s response was asking why SikhNet needs money…that we have more than enough money….and asking what my salary is…and that SikhNet has a false agenda to promote 3HO. I really took it as an excuse that the person just didn’t want to give anything to support SikhNet and was coming up with excuses to justify it to himself.
I had just posted an old video on the SikhNet facebook page about remembering God’s gift to you in each moment. That when you remember God all the time you see everything as Guru’s prashad…Guru’s Gift. Even the hardships and the challenges which can teach us a lot.
Obviously Guru has gifted me with many blessings and that includes having to deal with many negative people. It’s hard most of the times because so many people who call themselves Sikhs behave in such a harsh and negative way that I wonder how they have lost their way. Guru Nanak was the one who talked about unity…oneness….seeing God in everyone and everything..kindness…compassion and acceptance of all. Yet we find ourselves constantly dividing not only ourselves in the Sikh community but attacking other religious paths. I have definitely noticed the Hindu-phobia and hate which has just propagated more hate. We have to break this cycle.
What I see is that Sikhs are always the "Victims" and reactive. So rather than focusing on positive action to inspire and uplift people we are constantly "fighting" against so called unjust or wrong doings by people within the Sikh community and elsewhere. Sure there are some situations that require our attention, but most often we appear to be "trained" to be reactive. We rarely hear positive stories. It’s always something about how someone has done something wrong. This mindset is what makes people look for fault in others and judge others rather than find commonality. Some people make it their self righteous mission to "save sikhi" from all the wrong doers. I always smile when I think about an older blog called "Sikh Problems" which posted critical/negative things. What about "Sikh Solutions" blog? There are many other people like this who like to post negative things about Sikh stuff online, and in their minds they are helping and doing something good. This kind of action doesn’t create unity and acceptance.
I know I have ranted a lot about this topic over the years. It’s just one of those things that is ever present and I have to deal with so much that hopefully my talking about it makes people open up a little bit and change their way of thinking. At least if we can be a little more conscious that is a huge start. I have heard about Sikhs in England and Canada actually physically attacking people because they feel that someone is doing something "wrong" or disrespecting the Guru. It’s so absurd! Definitely not the Sikhi that I practice.
I was raised in Sikhi in a very open and positive way by my parents and through the many years of SSS Harbhajan Singh Khalsa sharing about the Sikh lifestyle and being spiritual people. He used to always use the metaphor that we all need to be like a lighthouse or a fork lift (one of those machine that slide under boxes and heavy stuff and raise it up). We all have the capacity to be forklifts and lighthouses in our own way. Rather than be reactive and negative we can focus on positive change by lifting each other up. Each of us have a choice to focus on pain and negative things or we can be proactive and focus on the things that make our lives positive and joyful. It’s a simple choice of how we use our life energy.
Are you a forklift or a weight? Are you a light house or are you a boat tossing in the ocean?