Are you a Forklift or a Weight?

Are you a Forklift or a Weight?

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 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?

9 Responses to “Are you a Forklift or a Weight?”

  1. Sat Nam,
    Thank you for the beautiful reminder!
    I see the negativity in myself and others around me as a sign of the times – we so honestly want to rid ourselves of pain and the feeling of something being off track that we try to identify problems and "fix" them so that we can feel better. Of course the real solution is not focusing on the fixing every little thing through reacting to it but, as you say, focusing on lifting each other up and dispelling routine negativity with gratitude and appreciation.

    /Pia Saranpreet Kaur

  2. Mr. Singh says:


    Good idea to focus on the positive in your post. As for the negativity and reactionist tendencies present in our community, hey, that's Kaljug for you. The Khalsa is supposed to light the way in the dark age, but most of us aren't concerned with that apparently.

  3. Prithi Hardkaur says:

    "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."

    I have noticed this too, and I think it is sad that often people often ask questions or get into conversations just to assert their opinion and prove themselves right. Just recently I was shocked by the 'fighting' attitude of a Sikh organisation in the UK that referred to Indira Gandhi as "a witch" and advocated taking a stand 'for justice'. As one person within the global panth, I felt ashamed of 'us'; that 'we' can talk this way about other human beings and to be so small-minded to think that we can somehow 'get her back' for injustices by speaking in a harsh and insulting manner.

    The question I so often ask myself is: "does this action/thought give me *more* of what I want to have in my life, or does it only create more of what I *don't* want? In my eyes, if we pick arguments with people, scoff at their points of view, challenge their motives about things etc we taking steps away from our Guru. Just as in the old fables where spiritual teachers would assume a different form to test their students, so too does our Satiguru come in many disguises and give us these tests. The angry person that admonishes you for not wearing your kirpan in the right way is, on some level, your Guru asking you the question "have you mastered your own ego yet?".

    Everyone has their own lessons to learn- and it's for us to help, and Waheguru to judge.

  4. Gurvinder Singh says:

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki fateh.
    we never see our inner souls and try to find the solutions by blaming others. Its the our negativity and we never accept that we are wrong. "Hum nahi chage, bura nahi koi"
    Only when Waheguru will give us power to see inside one's own soul that we will change.

  5. Thank you for this post. I am in total agreement with you about the choice we have as humans, do we wish focus on the negative and painful in our lives or do we focus on the things in our lives that is positive and makes us happy. And we have made our choice, do we try to spread positive thinking to others?

    I try, but I am not always successful. But I have noticed that since I most of the time try to spread positive thinking, when I am in a negative thinking spiral, there is always someone else there to drag me up into a more positive and happy mood. So what goes around, comes around!


  6. Dharm Kaur Khalsa says:

    Wow. Some great, insightful comments here.

    I'd just like to add that we are struggling with the same basic issue the rest of the humanity is – that we really are all the same family. Khalsa is here to lead the way on this one. That means we must first find the way to unity – really wanting to live FOR each other. The only way to this is through the one thing we all have in common: the Shabd Guru, the pulse of Life.

    Joining with the Other in Khalsa consciousness, through the power of the pure heart.
    "All For One, One For All"
    As one of our early 3HO songs says so well:

    "Everybody wants to love everybody
    Sometimes we just don't know how or where, yeah
    So get a-catch you can right now
    A hold of your neighbour's hand somehow
    Squeeze real tight show that you care
    You're gonna make it
    All for one, one for all…"

    Sat Nam.

  7. RS Arora says:

    To be on the extreme positivenss, one gets the best advice from our Fifth Master, Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj, when Mr. Chandu told him to stand up on the hot plate. To my surprise, I was told, Guru Sahib did not react angrily. Nor did he show any red eyes as to what Chandu meant by that statement. He just obeyed.

    This is the first lesson a (so-called turbanned) Sikh has to learn in life. Any loss, any harm, any insult, any suffering, any statement, any anger should look so small before the huge bountyful forgiveness of the Guru. Only when he has learnt to die a daily death (from egoistic consciousness), that he will learn to die once for all.

    All the troubles of the life, and the resultant consequences, are a great stepping stone in the learning process of a 'Sikh'. The method is : Naam Simran and tolerate everything else.

    RS Arora

  8. seeker3k says:

    Dear Gurumustuk JI,

    The reply you posted here in responding to some one asking question is typical reply.
    Sihks will not reply to is being asked by others Who ever ask question has to be Hindu not a Sikh.
    Any person who asks question us is not our enemy but he is our friend. He is showing what is lacking with us.

    The question is never wrong the answer can be wrong.

    What will you loose by stating your salary? Do you have to hide some thing?

    If you are looking for some one praising you they you should get few emails and become member of this site and send your self emails. Other are going to ask questions what they think is important for them. It is not what is good for you.

    If you have taken on your self to preach then you should take the heat too.
    If you cant stand the heat, get out of kitchen.

  9. Gurinder says:

    Why should Gurumustuk needs to state his salary? Its no one's business. If anyone has no desire to support sikhnet then simply don't do it.

    Gurumustuk, there are lot of people with different levels of mental capacities in every religion and culture. By now your mind and heart should be made of steel and bounce back the negative energy to those people who try their best to dismantle other person's serene space.