“Stand out, stand proud.” What does that really mean?
As most of you probably know, on March 30, 1699, Guru Gobind Singh Ji created the Khalsa Panth. He made the Panj Pyare. These 5 men were brave enough to give their head to Guru Ji when no one else would. That is real courage. Now, you might ask, what does this have to do with standing out?
When Guru Ji created the Khalsa, he gave us our physical identity. The word “Khalsa” has several literal meaning including “pure” ,“free,” and “belonging to the sovereign”. We are the Khalsa of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, and we should be proud of it. We stand out in a crowd, and not just on the outside. Sure, we have the 5 Ks (kesh, kara, kirpan, kanga, and kachhera) that distinguish us on the outside, but we also stand out because of our beliefs inside. Sikhs strive to be brave, courageous, strong, kind, honest, remarkable, wise, and many other outstanding characteristics , but when we don’t have pride and faith in our Guru, we are nothing. When we have Waheguru’s virtues and properties, the Divine will protect us and guide us. But when that courage turns to fear, and when that kindness turns to anger, we are not connected with Waheguru anymore.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji taught us that we should never be afraid and ashamed of who we are just because we are different. We are unique and I feel like so many people aren’t proud of who they are as Sikhs, and they are too shy to really speak up and educate people about Sikhi. The world can be a mean place, but you have to ignore the bad elements. Don’t let people make fun of who you are or bring you down. I’ve had this experience, and I know many people stare at your father or mother’s turban, or maybe even laugh at your religion or uncut kesh. We have to let those rude comments slide off. Remember though, maybe people aren’t laughing at you, but are curious to learn more. They bully and laugh because they don’t really know what Sikhi is, so we have to educate them. If we don’t, who loses? We stand out because we are outstanding, and we should never let anything take that away from us. So, when we stand out, we should always stand proud.
By Mehr Kaur
Mehr Kaur is 10 years old and lives in New York City.
Feature photo by Gurumustuk Singh