Here in Norway we have a lot of traffic rules. One of the rules for pedestrians is that they should cross the road when the light is green and wait for the cars when it’s red. However, most people have the habit to cross the road while the light is red when they see no cars. Yesterday my brother told me to stop when the red light turned on. I pointed on all the other people who were crossing the road – we were the only one standing. Yet he wanted us to stand.
When the light turned green, I asked him why he stood there when the cars were far away and all the other people were crossing the road. He told me that we should be an example. When everyone else is breaking the rules, why should we follow them? We could be the only ones waiting for the light to turn green, but we will be an example. I asked him how we could be an example – no one will notice. He said that the probablity is bigger that the few who are waiting for the light to turn green will be noticed than the majority who are crossing the road. He added that for him it was even more important to do the right thing, because he was wearing the turban. People will notice that this person with the turban is a Sikh, and Sikhs follow the rules – they are disciplined. I started asking but what if I am going alone? No one will notice me, I am not wearing a turban. Then I
gave it a second thought – people will notice me too, because I belong to a miniority group. If I am doing the right thing, that will somehow affect the reputation of my community.
But is it so important to be an example for everyone else? We continued our discussion, and at one point my brother mentioned that it’s an inner fight to be able to stand and wait. It’s an inner fight to be able to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. It’s an inner fight to follow the rules when everyone else is violating it. It’s an inner fight to stand out. Actually we are training our mind when we manage to do the right thing when everyone else is doing the wrong thing. We are using our brain – not just following everyone else. You need the same to be in a complete sikhi saroop – you are following something the majority is not following. Guru Nanak Sahib Ji is one beautiful example – he violated many of the established practices in India that everyone followed blindly. He had the strength to stand out.
These small actions were you are using your brain and not following the majority is a strength. You are winning your mind, and when you win your mind, you can win the world – people will notice you; maybe they will reflect upon the path you are following and be inspired to do the same. Man jeete jag jeet.
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