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Sikh-Americans: Drawing on a Rich Heritage

In my opinion, the main concern for the Sikh-American community should be how to draw on their rich heritage to positively participate in the American public sphere. Sikhs need to continue to open up to others, make their places of worship (Gurdwaras) ever more hospitable to visitors, and share their practices like the communal kitchen that feeds rich and poor alike (langar). Non-Sikhs — be they themselves religious, unaffiliated, or seeking — can help the effort in many ways. They can:

•    learn about Sikh history, belief, and practices.
•    find a Gurdwara near them and make a visit.
•    help Sikhs engage in service of the local community.

What no American should tolerate is apathy, unkindness, or retreating rather than engaging together for the common good.

How successful will Sikhs be in helping their tradition to thrive on American soil? Intentions matter, and the question can be answered by how they respond to the challenge with which I began this post. If Sikh-Americans feed the homeless and staff marathon water stations out of a deep commitment to service, justice, and realizing divine love, then people will know Sikhs for all the right reasons and the future of their faith in this country will be radiantly bright.

7/1/2015 4:00:00 AM