“Sikhi is my guideline for life. As a saint soldier a Sikh should be mentally, spiritually, and physically strong and ready to uphold justice. These 4 aspects of Sikhism influence who I am today.
Via: Portraits of Sikhs
As a child, I read stories of Muslims and Hindus telling tales of broad shouldered, hard bodied Khalsas who would instill fear in their enemy. I could envision nothing less for myself. Since then I have pushed myself to excel in athletics, and throughout college I have maintained a standard of fitness to emulate what it means to be a soldier. As Sikh means student, I push myself to constantly better myself and adapt to obstacles. Part of being mentally strong, I believe, is to also having mental fortitude–I try to always remain in Chardi-Khala.
My spiritual journey is never ending. At home I do Paath, Kirtan, and Simran with my sangat. As I move away from home, that sangat cannot move with me. After 2 years at USC I have created a sangat with whom I can grow with: doing weekly Paath, researching, and discussing baani’s meaning.
Social justice is a new leg of my path. Because of my pride in Sikhi- whenever someone has verbally/physically attacked me because of my Dastaar, my crown, I have defended myself with words and actions. I have now started to take in the vast scope of problems in the world, outside my personal life. Recently, a friend of mine pointed out a Halloween costume that allowed the wearer to be a “terrorist” by including a turban and beard. This horrific costume pigeonholed a bigoted image of what a terrorist looks like, presented it to kids—creating a cycle of racism. I flagged down this costume and contacted Sikh Coalition. Ultimately, the costume was successfully taken down from multiple vendors. Albeit a small one, this was my first step towards social activism.
These 4 aspects of Sikhi have made me a stronger person, a better Sikh, and a step closer to considering myself part of the Khalsa Panth.” -Himmat Singh