It seems appropriate to begin this blog with the news-story that I read in ‘Dinamalar’ (Tamil Daily) on how a Sikh girl – caught on camera while standing at the payment counter somewhere in the UK – reacted with extraordinary grace and maturity to the picture taken of her, unawares. She has had facial hair due to hormonal disorder. Some one took a picture of her and made some uncivil remarks on her. She reacted with so much maturity. She wrote that, if she had known about the picture, she would have smiled and posed appropriately. She also wrote that she was pleased that her photo would now make more people recognise her and say hello to her in her University campus. She studies in the U.S. Here is the link to the story (in Tamil).
My wife alerted me to the full text (or, what looks like a fuller text, at least) of her response and it is more beautiful than what was captured in the Tamil newspaper, ‘Dinamalar’.
Here is the link to that. Some of the observations made by her are worth reflecting upon and worth pursuing. Repetition, reinforcement and practice can help us achieve the state of mind that Ms. Balpreet Kaur refers to below:
By crying ‘mine, mine’ and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a separateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can.
Many felt moved by her mature and magnanimous reaction. Her fan club grew. This is the genuine fan club variety. Some even offered her sincere advice on how to get rid of the facial hair.
The final denouement is that the person who took her picture and posted it with uncivil comments on the Internet apologised to her. His gracious apology is also available on the link I had given above.
It is all very nice and wonderful to see the better side of the human spirit and interaction that follows from that.