The moment you tie the turban, you make a silent promise to Waheguru Ji to uphold the honor of all Sikhs. You have to become a role model for all, so no one can say anything bad about Guru Ji’s Sikhs. A couple months back I had gone to the Gurudwara Sahib in a rush and then regretted it, wishing I had taken a bit more time to dress better. Being the only turban wearing girl at the Gurudwara Sahib, I feel the pressure to show the younger generation that wearing the Turban only adds to our beauty. To my utter surprise a little girl came up to me and told me I looked like an angel and preceded to follow me and imitate. I became her angel that day, her role model but I forgot at what price. Being a role model means you can’t pick and choose whom you inspire, worry about the world, and letting go of all biased that you hold so dear.
This last Sunday I had done ardass for Guru Ji to make me a better person as I did matha tek. If I had know the lesson would begin immediately on how to be a better person, I don’t think I would have asked. Few minutes after I had sat down, the kids sitting in front of me started making noise about the little one that had begun to cry. Without waiting for the family members of the child to respond, I hurried to the crying child. The mentor of the child refused to allow me to take over and handle the situation. So I sat down next to the child helpless to do anything to make things better. Thankfully the parents came and took the child away and I could breath easy again. I prayed to Waheguru Ji to not make me feel so helpless again, next time I felt someone needed me. Once again, I asked to soon for a second chance, on my way to langar hall the child that called me angle was howling. This time I wasn’t quite so ready to jump in and make things better.
I was worried about being faced with disapproval again from the sangat. This child was surrounded by adults but not one person came forward to help her. Varied thoughts ran through my mind; I am not related to her, she isn’t even in Punjabi class, with what right do I approach her? Sometimes we forget the biggest right is humanity and as turban wearing Sikhs, we must never forget that. With one last look around trying to gauge peoples reaction to this child crying in middle of the langar hall line, I knew it had to be me. I asked the child to come with me and walked towards the hand washing station without a look back.
Hurrying behind me, the child tried to explain why she was crying. The kids once again had been prejudice towards her because she does not look like them. Halfheartedly, I listened to her woes and told her to ignore the children and go play else where. The moment I looked up to see my own image as sanmukh (with turban), I froze, what was I doing? I was barely giving the child the attention she deserved because I too had biased towards her because her mysterious parentage. Why was I so slow to react when this child cried and so fast with the other child? I was no angel, I didn’t see god in all. I could no longer look at myself in the mirror, I was not living up to the responsibilities of my turban. Turning back to the child, I saw her offering me her dirty tissue to wipe her face. I immediately washed her face properly with water and dried it with a clean tissue and told her with love to go play else where. I should have go fought with the other kids about treating her with more love and respect but I didn’t.
I don’t know if I fell in the eyes of the little girl but I fell in my own eyes. How can I be her angel, be Sanmukh if I can’t be a role model for all, forget the world and forget my own bias? Wearing a turban means more then letting the world know we are Sikhs, it means letting ourselves know it to. Critically analyzing our own actions and making sure it is what Guru Ji wants. I had asked to be a better person, Guru Ji showed me to be a better person, I have to learn to see Waheguru Ji in all.
Please pray that this fallen angel can once again rise up and be Guru Ji’s daughter.
Authors Note: please don’t copy without talking to me first. thank you