How to Block Out the Negativity in the Sikh Community

Earlier in the year, I felt horrible. Why? Because I was constantly surrounding myself with negativity on social media and in real life. I honestly thought about leaving Sikhi. And I have actually seen people leave Sikhi because of it. So I decided to disappear for a little while, sat down and had some discussions with a few friends, chilled by Lady Bird Lake here in Austin, and learned so much about myself and life in general then I had learned in the last couple of months. I came back feeling better than ever and knowing how to handle certain situations. Someone who is new to Sikhi (or maybe even old) might ask, how do I block out the negativity? Here are a few strategies that you'll find useful.

Thanks to Jermaine for inspiring this. You are the goat 🐐 .... now let's jhatka it 😂 AYE! AYE! I see some of ya'll runnin with your pitchforks toward me. If you can't take a joke, below. This is especially for you.

1. Read Gurbani

Reading Gurbani (whether you define that as just the scriptures from SGGS ji or scriptures from all three Granths) washes away negativity. It teaches you how to spend your life in a productive and effective way. The most important thing though is to implement what the scriptures are saying into your life.

2. Do Not Argue

First of all, it's best to stay away from hot button topics within our community (unless asked for your opinion for a valid reason). Those are as followed: Khalistan, the role of women in Sikhi, meat-eating, the authenticity of certain Sikh scriptures, what is the original rehat, 3ho/Sikh Dharma,
 and stupid stuff like keski (turban) vs. kesh (hair). If you're reading this, it is likely you aren't an expert in Sikh theology or ideology. So please don't pretend to talk or type like you're one. Secondly, don't get into arguments. Just by avoiding the topics above, the likelihood that you will get into an argument with someone is cut down by 85%-90-%. Gurbani also has the following to say about arguments. *Hopefully ya'll can zoom in on it* Read the whole thing and think about this every time before you say something to your fellow Sikh or type something

3.  Meditate/Do Simran

Instead of arguing or getting into heating discussions, how about we do something that will actually help us toward our goal (merging with the One)? Everything else is really a waste of time. There are different ways you can do Simran (which simply means having Ik Oankar Consciousness). You can listen and sing along to kirtan. You can do Gurmantar. You can do Mool Mantar. Just see what works for you. 

4. Do Seva

If you're filling your day full of volunteer work while doing simran (whether at the local park or the Gurdwara), you won't have time to be paying attenton to what's going on around you. I think for some Sikhs the problem is that they have nothing better to do with their time. So get in contact with the volunteer coordinator at your Gurdwara (if they have one) or look at the following website and type in your country, city, or whatever they ask you to 

5. Surround Yourself w/People with Positive Energy

Now I've been blessed with the intuition and gift to know when people are BSing me, hiding something from me, don't like me, are jealous of me, think they're more intelligent than me,
 taking advantage of me, or just like being negative. Even some of my friends fall into one of these categories sometimes. Unfortunately, though, I have not been blessed with the gift of calling people out or saying what's truly on my mind. But hey, why deal with this when you can just surround yourself with positive people in the first place? That means being careful about who you allow on your social media and being careful about who you allow into your life. If someone is constantly making you smile, laugh, checking in on you, and you feel comfortable around them, that is a positive person to have in your life. If every time someone comes around and you say "Oh no" or "What are they up to now?" or you frown, that is someone to stay away from. If they say something snide, rude, or snarky to you, just ignore it. In the words of Soorma Singh, "You gotta learn just not to give an F!" 


5. Stop Dwelling on Negativity

For the last month, the Sikh community has been like a broken record player. "OMG, our Panth is so divided". "OMG, why are Sikhs always attacking each other." "OMG, Sikhs should stop attacking XYZ group or XYZ person". "OMG, the Sikh community is falling apart". Listen, it's great that we might recognize a few things wrong with our community but just constantly talking about it is not going to bring about a solution. All it does it make Sikhs look disharmonious and keeps people away from Sikhi. And it's frankly annoying. Look, this stuff most likely ain't going away. So my benti to the Sangat is 1) focus more on Simran and 2) decide to put mostly positive
energy out there. How? Well, share articles of Sikhs excelling. Share videos talking about Sikh history or showcasing Sikh celebrations. Write about how everyone can become Ik Oankar Conscious. Uplift and encourage your fellow Sikh brother and sister. If you see someone doing a good job, shout them out. Discuss ways we can contribute to society and tackle social issues/injustices. Just anything that brings light into the world.

If you read this far, I hope you will not praise my writing but actually implement these things into your life. If not...why'd you read it in the first place?! 😂 Keep in Chardi Kala ji! Waheguru ji ka Khalsa. Waheguru ji ki Fateh. 

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