Dec 08

We are all creations of God and we must never forget that. Compassion is the key!

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.

What food might this contain?” The mouse wondered – he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr.Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”

The mouse turned to the goat and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The goat sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr.Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.”

The mouse turned to the cow and said “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house – like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.

The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital , and she returned home with a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main Ingredient.

But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock.

To feed them, the farmer butchered the goat.

The farmer’s wife did not get well; she died.
So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn’t concern you, remember when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.

We are all involved in this amazing journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.

Each of us may not be connected through a blood line, we may not even be friends. But we are all connected through humanity.

Share this wisdom with the intention that others may benefit from it too.

Oct 12

The Chinese bamboo tree

When you stabamboort to make positive changes in your life, it is not easy. You want results right away. When you don’t, you easily want to give up.

We all need to be reminded that outward progress doesn’t necessarily reflect or measure inward progress

 

Let me tell you of the story of the Chinese bamboo tree. You take a little seed, plant it, water it, and fertilize it for a whole year, and nothing happens.

The second year you water it and fertilize it, and nothing happens.

The third year you water it and fertilize it, and nothing happens. (How discouraging this becomes!)

The fifth year you continue to water and fertilize the seed and then—take note. Sometime during the fifth year, the Chinese bamboo tree sprouts and grows NINETY FEET IN SIX WEEKS!

Did the little tree lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth? Or, was the little tree growing underground, developing a root system strong enough to support its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond? The answer is, of course, obvious. Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation it could not have sustained its life as it grew.

Life is much akin to the growing process of the Chinese bamboo tree.

It is often discouraging. We seemingly do things right, and nothing happens. But for those who do things right and are not discouraged, things will happen.

It might take years, but if you are persistent enough, you might have “overnight success” that others will see. But in your heart, you know the results came from doing the right things over a long period of time.

The situation you are in right now is the result of the seeds that you planted 5 years ago. Are you getting the results you want? If not, begin today to sow the seeds of what you want 5 years from now.

Remember, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll get the results you’ve always gotten.

Aug 22

Weakness Or Strength

Weakness Or Strength

Sometimes our biggest weakness can become our biggest strength. Take, for example, the story of one 10-year-old boy who decided to study Judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.

The boy began lessons with an old Japanese Judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move.

“Sensei,” the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?”

“This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know.” – the sensei replied.

Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.

Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.

This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened.

“No,” the sensei insisted, “Let him continue.”

Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.

On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.

“Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”

“You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered. “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grap your left arm.”

The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.

Aug 22

The 99 Club

The 99 Club

Once upon a time, there lived a King who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was neither happy nor content. One day, the King came upon a servant who was singing happily while he worked. This fascinated the King; why was he, the Supreme Ruler of the Land, unhappy and gloomy, while a lowly servant had so much joy. The King asked the servant, ‘Why are you so happy?’ The man replied, ‘Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but my family and I don’t need too much – just a roof over our heads and warm food to fill our tummies.’ The king was not satisfied with that reply. Later in the day, he sought the advice of his most trusted advisor. After hearing the King’s woes and the servant’s story, the advisor said, ‘Your Majesty, I believe that the servant Has not been made part of The 99 Club.’ ‘The 99 Club? And what exactly is that?’ the King inquired. The advisor replied, ‘Your Majesty, to truly know what The 99 Club is, place 99 Gold coins in a bag and leave it at this servant’s doorstep.’ When the servant saw the bag, he took it into his house. When he opened the bag, he let out a great shout of joy… So many gold coins! He began to count them. After several counts, he was at last convinced that there were 99 coins. He wondered, ‘What could’ve happened to that last gold coin? Surely, no one would leave 99 coins!’ He looked everywhere he could, but that final coin was elusive. Finally, exhausted he decided that he was going to have to work harder than ever to earn that gold coin and complete his collection. From that day, the servant’s life was changed. He was overworked, horribly grumpy, and castigated his family for not helping him make that 100th gold coin. He stopped singing while he worked. Witnessing this drastic transformation, the King was puzzled. When he sought his advisor’s help, the advisor said, ‘Your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined The 99 Club.’ He continued,

‘The 99 Club is a name given to those people who have enough to be happy but are never content, because they’re always yearning and Striving for that extra 1, saying to themselves: ‘Let me get that one final thing and then I will be happy for life.’ We can be happy, even with very little in our lives, but the minute we’re given something bigger and better, we want even more! We lose our sleep, our happiness, we hurt the people around us; all these as a price for our growing needs and desires.

Aug 21

Battle between Evil and Good

The Battle Between 2 Wolfs“One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle was between 2 “wolves” inside us all. One was Evil. It was anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other was Good. It was joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Aug 21

To Solve Any Problem

Believe To AchieveA father left 17 camels, as the inheritance for his three sons.

When the father passed away, his sons opened up the will.

The Will stated that THE ELDEST SON SHOULD GET HALF of 17 camels while THE MIDDLE SON SHOULD BE GIVEN 1/3RD (ONE-THIRD) & THE YOUNGEST SON SHOULD BE GIVEN 1/9TH (ONE-NINTH) of the 17 camels.

As it is not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, the three sons started to quarrel with each other and fight for who should gain an extra camel and lose a camel. As they continued to fight they spotted a wise woman and decided to go to this wise woman to see if she has any ideas.

The wise woman listened patiently about the Will.

The wise young woman, after giving some thought, brought one camel of her own and added the same to 17. That increased the total to 18 camels.

Now, she started reading the deceased father’s will.

Half of 18 = 9.

So she gave the eldest son 9 camels
1/3rd of 18 = 6.
So she gave the middle son 6 camels
1/9th of 18 = 2.
So she gave the youngest son 2 camels.
Now add this up: 9 plus 6 plus 2 is 17,
and this left one camel, which the wise woman took away.

There are many teachings of this story. First of all:

  1. To reach any solution of any problem the first step is to believe that there is a solution. Otherwise there won’t be any!
  2. Also the wise woman listened with patience to their problems, this shows that whatever one wants they may not get this straight away but they have to believe and try and figure out ways to settle this by possibly finding a common ground which everyone will agree to.
Jul 30

The Huge Apple Tree

Huge Apple Tree

A long time ago, there was a huge apple tree. A little boy loved to come and play around it everyday. He climbed to the treetop, ate the apples, and took a nap under the shadow.

He loved the tree and the tree loved to play with him. Time went by, the little boy had grown up and he no longer played around the tree every day.
One day, the boy came back to the tree and the tree looked sad.
“Come and play with me”, the tree asked the boy.
“I am no longer a kid, I do not play around trees any more, I want toys. I need money to buy them.” the boy replied.
“Sorry, but I do not have money, but you can pick all my apples and sell them. So, you will have money.”
The boy was so excited. He grabbed all the apples on the tree and left happily. The boy never came back after he picked the apples. The tree was sad.
One day, the boy who now turned into a man returned and the tree was excited.
“Come and play with me” the tree said.
“I do not have time to play. I have to work for my family. We need a house for shelter. Can you help me?”
“Sorry, but I do not have any house. But you can chop off my branches to build your house.” So the man cut all the branches of the tree and left happily. The tree was glad to see him happy but the man never came back since then. The tree was again lonely and sad.
One hot summer’s day, the man returned and the tree was delighted.
“Come and play with me!” the tree said.
“I am getting old. I want to go sailing to relax myself. Can you give me a boat?” said the man.
“Use my trunk to build your boat. You can sail far away and be happy.”
So the man cut the tree trunk to make a boat. He went sailing and never showed up for a long time.
Finally, the man returned after many years. “Sorry, my boy. But I do not have anything for you any more. No more apples for you”, the tree said. “No problem, I do not have any teeth to bite” the
man replied.
“No more trunk for you to climb on.” “I am too old for that now” the man said. “I really cannot give you anything, the only thing left is my dying roots,” the tree said with tears.
“I do not need much now, just a place to rest. I am tired after all these years,” the man replied.
“Good! Old tree roots are the best place to lean on and rest, come sit down with me and rest.” The man sat down and the tree was glad and smiled with tears.
This is a story of everyone. The tree is an example of our parents. When we were young, we loved to play with our Mum and Dad. When we grow up unfortunately we leave them and only come to them when we need something or when we are in trouble. No matter what, parents will always be there and give everything they could just to make you happy.
You may think the boy is cruel to the tree, but that is how all of us treat our parents. We take them for granted, we don’t appreciate all they do for us, until it’s too late.
Moral
Treat your parents with the most love and care. For you will know their value, when it will be too late. We never know the love of our parents for us, until we have become parents.
Jul 30

Let go of your stresses

Let Go Of Your Stresses

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead with a smile on her face she inquired: ”How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz. (250 gm to 550 gm approx.)

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralysed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a minute and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralysed – incapable of doing anything.”

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

Jul 30

Time With Someone You Love

Time-With-Someone-You-Love

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.
SON: ‘Daddy, may I ask you a question?’

DAD: ‘Yeah sure, what it is?’ replied the man.

SON: ‘Daddy, how much do you make an hour?’

DAD: ‘That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?’ the man said angrily.

SON: ‘I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?’

DAD: ‘If you must know, I make $50 an hour.’

SON: ‘Oh,’ the little boy replied, with his head down.

SON: ‘Daddy, may I please borrow $25?’

The father was furious, ‘If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don’t work hard everyday for such childish frivolities.’

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.

The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think:

Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $25.00 and he really didn’t ask for money very often The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.

‘Are you asleep, son?’ He asked.

‘No daddy, I’m awake,’ replied the boy.

‘I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier’ said the man. ‘It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the $25 you asked for.’

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. ‘Oh, thank you daddy!’ he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills.

The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again.

The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father.

‘Why do you want more money if you already have some?’ the father grumbled.

‘Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,’ the little boy replied.

‘Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.’

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness.

Jul 30

Who is Happy

Who Is Happy Inpirational

A crow lived in the forest and was absolutely satisfied in life.
But one day he saw a swan. “This swan is so white,” he thought, “and I am so black.
This swan must be the happiest bird in the world.”
He expressed his thoughts to the swan. “Actually,” the swan replied, “I was feeling that I was the happiest bird around until I saw a parrot, which has two colors. I now think the parrot is the happiest bird in creation.”
The crow then approached the parrot. The parrot explained, “I lived a very happy life—until I saw a peacock. I have only two colors, but the peacock has multiple colors.”
The crow then visited a peacock in the zoo and saw that hundreds of people had gathered to see him.
After the people had left, the crow approached the peacock. “Dear peacock,” the crow said, “you are so beautiful. Every day thousands of people come to see you. When people see me, they immediately shoo me away. I think you are the happiest bird on the planet.”
The peacock replied, “I always thought that I was the most beautiful and happy bird on the planet. But because of my beauty, I am entrapped in this zoo.
I have examined the zoo very carefully, and I have realized that the crow is the only bird not kept in a cage. So for past few days I have been thinking that if I were a crow, I could happily roam everywhere.”

That’s our problem too. We make unnecessary comparison with others and become sad. We don’t value what has God given us. This all leads to the vicious cycle of unhappiness.

Keep valuing the things god has given us. Learn the secret of being happy and discard the comparison which leads only to unhappiness.

Nov 29

The hedgehogs

What do you know about hedgehogs?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold.

The hedgehogs, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.

After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.

Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.

The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities.

Nov 04

The Power of Reading / Reciting Prayers and Hymns

A young child went to a holy man and stated that no matter how hard he tried to keep prayers and hymns in his heart, he just could not understand or keep it. He stated that his mind was not a bucket, but a strainer which let everything pass through and did not contain the meaning of the prayers. The holy man said ” Let us try an experiment. Here is a strainer, and here is some water. Now pour a bucket of water through the strainer.” The child did this and said “See, the water was not contained, it just passed through, my mind is just like this”. The holy man said “Do it once more” and so he did and still the water passed through the strainer. The holy man said. “Do it ten times at least”. The child did, and at the end of this experiment, he said ” See, water still passes through, no matter how many times and how many buckets we pass through it” .

The holy man said “Look carefully at the strainer and see if there is anything different.” The child did and his eyes were filled with tears, and he said “Yes, I see the difference now. The grimy dirty strainer is now shiny and bright, like never before.”

The holy man said “My son, this is what reading and reciting prayers does for you. It cleans your mind, and even if you do not realize it, it slowly cleanses your mind, and protects you from the evil vices in life. The more you read and recite prayers, your mind will not only become shinier, but become like the bucket itself, which will not only become clean , but hold the meaning of the prayers in your heart”.

The child smiled and felt he had received the best example of the power of reading and reciting prayers ever. Prayers with a devoted mind is that detergent that cleanses the mind of its dirt. The more we do, the cleaner our inner self will be.

If you enjoyed this, please share it with all your friends and family.

Oct 30

The law of the garbage truck

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches!

The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, ‘Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!’ This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, ‘The Law of the Garbage Truck’.

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you. Don’t take it personally, just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

Oct 23

The Donkey Fable

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred – Forgive.

2. Free your mind from worries – Most never happen.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less

Oct 23

Learn to accept the will of God

This is from the Sikh Prayer, Japji Sahib, 16th verse.

Kudrat kavan kaha vichar, Varia na java ek var

Jo tudh bhavai sai bhali kar, Tu sada salamat Nirankar

A King had a male servant who in all circumstances always said to him; My king, do not be discouraged because everything God does is perfect, no mistakes. One day, they went hunting and a wild animal attacked the king, the servant managed to kill the animal but couldn’t prevent his majesty from losing a finger. Furious and without showing gratitude, the King said; if God was good, I would not have been attacked and lost one finger. The servant replied; Despite all these things, I can only tell you that God is good and everything he does is perfect, he is never wrong. Outraged by the response, the king ordered the arrest of his servant.

Later, he left for another hunt and was captured by savages who use human beings for sacrifice. In the altar, the savages found out that the king didn’t have one finger in place, he was released because he was considered not “complete” to be offered to the Gods.

On his return to the palace, he authorized the release of his servant and said; “My friend, God was really good to me. I was almost killed but for lack of a single finger I was let go. But I have a question; If God is so good, why did He allow me to put you in jail?”. He replied; “My king, if I had gone with you, I would have been sacrificed because I have no missing finger. Everything God does is perfect and he is never wrong”.

Often we complain about life and the negative things that happen to us, forgetting that nothing is random, and that everything has a purpose. God knows why he chose you to receive this message today,

Please bless someone with it by sharing it. Everything happens for a reason, things do happen for our own Good. God is Great!

Oct 23

A Little Wisdom goes a long way

A Little Wisdom goes a long way. When you give you will always get it back.

A father left 17 camels as an asset for his three sons.

When the father passed away, his sons opened up the will. The Will of the father stated that the eldest son should get half of 17 camels while the middle son should be given 1/3rd (one-third).The youngest son should be given 1/9th (one-ninth) of the 17 camels.

As it is not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, three sons started to fight with each other.

So, the three sons decided to go to a wise man. The wise man listened patiently about the Will. The wise man, after giving this thought, brought one camel of his own and added the same to 17. That increased the total to 18 camels.

Now, he started reading the deceased father’s will.Half of 18 = 9. So he gave the eldest son 9 camels. 1/3rd of 18 = 6. So he gave the middle son 6 camels. 1/9th of 18 = 2. So he gave the youngest son 2 camels.

Now add this up: 9 plus 6 plus 2 is 17 and this leaves one camel, which the wise man took back.

MORAL: The attitude of negotiation and problem solving is to find the 18th camel i.e. the common ground. Once a person is able to find the common ground, the issue is resolved. It is difficult at times.
However, to reach a solution, the first step is to believe that there is a solution. If we think that there is no solution, we won’t be able to reach any!

If you liked this story, please share with friends, family and children. You might spark a thought, inspire and possibly change a life forever!!

Sep 03

Inspirational experience by a year 8 student

Being the only Sikh – apart from my brother – in a school where the majority of pupils are Christian can be an interesting experience sometimes, as a lot of students are intrigued by the beliefs that Sikhs uphold and want to learn more.

A fascinating incident occurred when I was standing in the lunch queue one day. A group of girls were standing behind me chatting enthusiastically about something. Suddenly, I felt a hand on my hair and heard, “It’s so long and soft!” I couldn’t resist turning around any longer to see what the fuss was all about and found myself gazing at some awestruck Sixth Form girls.

Not ones to beat around the bush, they started questioning me at once.

“Have you ever cut your hair?”

“Have you ever been to the hairdressers?”

When the answer was no to both of them (I haven’t personally had the need to go to a hairdressers, so haven’t been to one), their faces lit up with awe.

“Why?”

“Hair is a gift from God, so why should anyone give it away by cutting it? We (Sikhs) live the way that God made humans and never cut our hair. For us, it is a symbol of love for God and respect for everything that God has given us.”

They found this really interesting. They had never thought about their hair in this light and probably just thought of their hair as a fashion accessory.

It’s not just because of my long, uncut hair that I am recognised as a Sikh. I have never been shy of the fact I am a Sikh, and from the age of seven, I was always backing up my opinions with examples of what the Gurus have said.

One of my teachers described my seven year old self as ‘proud to be a Sikh’!

It’s pleasing to see that Sikhs are beginning to get understood, especially in our school, when not many people have even heard of the religion. However, outside the walls of our school, it’s not the same story.

Sikhs have a unique physical appearance and after the devastating events of 9/11, a turban is sometimes associated with Osama bin Laden and his followers, in the minds of some.

There is a history of hate crimes that have been committed post 9/11, many mistaking Sikhs, because of the turban, with followers of Laden.

For example, the attack on the gurdwara in Wisconsin, USA, where six Sikhs were killed as a result of a gunman with white supremacist links.

That wasn’t the only incident. Sikh-Americans have reported that they are often being targeted since 9/11 because of confusion with Muslims.

It’s ironic that Guru Gobind Singh created the Five K’s so that Sikhs can be uniquely identified and now, because of one terrorist incident by another group in another land, we are becoming confused with other religions.

As the youngest world religion, Sikhism is often perceived as being a branch of, or associated with more widely known religions like Hinduism and Islam.

This has only made me more determined to make Sikhism as well-known and as correctly as possible. The prejudice that some people may have towards Sikhs, can only be eliminated by knowledge — accurate knowledge.

Personally, my experiences have largely been positive of being a Sikh. However, these negative attacks have only made me more determined to get Sikhi recognized as much as possible in our school and made me stronger in what I believe in.

In a world that is becoming increasingly image-obsessed, we Sikhs may look different, but that is because of our beliefs, we are not any different otherwise.

Take Balpreet Kaur as an example. Not too long ago, she was taunted by a blogger, because she, being a Sikh, did not shave or cut her hair. The man was so astonished by the fact that women have hair on their bodies and faces that he posted her photo online and waited for the abuse to flood in.

What happened next was not expected as Balpreet Kaur gave a lovely and dignified response: ‘Yes, I’m a Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that … I look different than most women. However, Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body – it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will.’

And then something even better happened: the man who had been rude through ignorance, publicly recanted. He wrote:

“I’ve read more about the Sikh faith and it was actually really interesting. It makes a whole lot of sense to work on having a legacy and not worrying about what you look like. I made that post for stupid internet points and I was ignorant.’

Maybe, the next time we are walking down the street, they will think twice before judging …

[Ruhi is a Grade Eight student currently living and studying in Chester, England. She is part of the editorial team for her school magazine and holds an academic scholarship to her school.]

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