Value & Self-Reflection
By Tayla Mack Year 10
Today we celebrate the birth of the Khalsa, which happens to be one of the most important dates in the Sikh calendar, but for what reason? In 1699, the Tenth Master chose to challenge each of his followers by asking who, of the many thousand people standing in front of him, would be willing and even eager to sacrifice their own life for the future freedom of others. “Can I have a head?” he asked, ignoring that no one budged an inch, he asked again “Can I have a head?” As traumatised as the crowd was, 5 brave idols put their life on the line by entering the tent that stood before them. All that the Tenth Master wanted were Saints and clearly realised that the majority of the crowd that stood before him, were anything but! The 5 beloved were revealed wearing turbans and unique suits for such an occasion. No one died, and no one was sacrificed – but the willingness and dignity of these 5 proves them to be pure idols, as they have now been baptised, that even the Tenth Master himself bowed down and admirably apologised to his people for not having the strength and courage that the 5 beloved clearly guaranteed – he wanted what they had. Equally, when Jesus put his people first by willingly sacrificing himself for the freedom of all Christians. So there you have it, the history of what we celebrate today, but you may still be wondering why the baptism of 5 people is such a great deal!
The Tenth Master grew up learning both Persian and Sanskrit, which later allowed him to be skilled in the arts of war. His so-called job was to uphold sanctity while destroying sin and evil. After the initiation ceremony in 1699, he said “Now there will be no human Gurus” – I’m not saying that he was implying that the evil lay between each leader, but there certainly was evil amongst society especially the inequality of men and women. This world is by no means a perfect planet, and nor is society; there are people that will judge you, torment you, show jealousy towards you, if everyone was perfect none of these would exist. But then again, if people were perfect you would never witness originality within our world, people would appear to be boring or simple, no one would have arguments and our planet would just be plain – that is why some things in life happen for the price of something/someone else. So, that is why we have to appreciate what we have without loathing what we don’t. The Earth spins at an angle, that isn’t perfection whereas some countries have no rain and others are drowning in it, I don’t see perfection there – nature itself has flaws! Men and women were never always been equal as you know, but now as a Sikh school, battling against all the hatred that was thrown at us, we prove that system wrong by having a female head teacher guiding a school of a different religion to herself, showing the strength that some never had.
With the school, I have been able to visit an old age home and even parliament. Before I joined this school last year, my knowledge of Sikhism was poor. I had no clue about your values, why you shouldn’t cut your hair and I didn’t even know that it was such a young religion. Physically, to a stranger outside of school I stand out because of my skin colour and religion but mentally and emotionally, I feel no different to the people I’m surrounded by. At the end of the day we are all people and no matter what you look like, we still function the same. Sometimes people cannot get over that fact, that’s when things such as jealousy and anger fall into play. But never let that put you down, your life has a purpose and don’t let anyone keep you from accomplishing that. Learn who you are and don’t let people treat you with disrespect and walk all over you. Get back up and show that those people are not worth your tears, you are better than society and make yourself known, stand out among others!