by Simran Jeet Singh
from State of Formation
As a Sikh-American, I am absolutely heart-broken.
As soon as news broke about the massacre in Wisconsin, my parents called me to make sure I was safe. Our conversation was eerily similar to the moments immediately after 9/11.
After making sure I was safe, they asked me to be careful walking around the streets of New York City. They pointed out that: “You never know what someone might do.”
While I accepted their advice, their words crushed me.
As a Sikh, I believe that people are inherently good. Our faith instills a sense of perpetual optimism, and our traditions teach us to always make the best of a tough situation.
Fear and negativity are foreign to our vocabulary. Sikhs are not a God-fearing people; we are God-loving.
The commitment to love and optimism shapes the way that Sikhs interact with their societies, and I’m concerned that becoming cynical and negative might lead us down a slippery slope.
So I am making a conscious decision. I am refusing to accept that human beings are malicious and hateful, and I am rejecting the notion that we need to live in fear.