COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything for everyone. There are those who are serving the need of the hour, and there are those who are serving their own needs, that’s just how things have always been. Allow me to share the Sikh ethos as a reminder:
All 7.5 billion people are part of the 1Force, the Creative and Pervasive Force; the Creator and the creation are inseparable; and the Wisdom-Guru must be invoked in all situations to find solutions, even more so in darkest and most challenging times.
Sikhi is both a personal and public commitment. Since the time of Guru Nanak Sahib, we have been sharing the langars (distribution) of Wisdom and food. Let’s double down on both to fight the Coronavirus. Guru Nanak Sahib asked Whys at a personal level, the Guru served with Hows at a public level.
...Chardi Kala (ascendant spirits) is not a slogan...
Chardi Kala (ascendant spirits) is not a slogan, let’s invoke this dictum to fight counterfeits. Do not feed capitalism at its worst right now. Don’t add to personal gains via fake news, godmen remedies, price gouging, panic shopping, and so on.
Social distancing as personal restraint makes the best medical sense. Healthy bodies must avail to serve in their respective capacities and capabilities.
...Become more centered by connecting with 1Force...
Individuals: Stay at home, unless you are an essential worker (medical, food, logistics). Become more centered by connecting with 1Force, by traditional means or current mechanisms. You need to decide how to connect with the 1Force! That means, strengthening your intellect and your body to share your assets. Take precautions, remain calm and informed. If willing and able, support essential workers by joining them for service, or fund them.
Gurduaras and Sikh organizations: Your purpose has always been to be a leaning center and a sanctuary. Let’s live that! Please do cancel all typical gatherings. But that’s not it. Do remind your board and your staff about the 1Ness borne out of 1Force. Offer apt services in-person and online. On the ground, recruit medical and logistics expertise. Open services for the vulnerable and the needy: medical and food.
In these extraordinary times, spirituality and imagination are vital resources for life. Becoming creative, like the Creator, will sustain us through the time of uncertainty.
And after using our mind to reflect, to serve, and to donate, the Sikh collective prays for the well-being of the whole humanity.
Pray as victorious people, not as defeated beings!
Harinder Singh is the Co-founder of the Sikh Research Institute. His twitter handle is @1Force.