I then shared my personal experiences. I gave them a choice of three experiences to choose, which I had written down, (1) Dealing with school racists, (2) Being approached by the drunken tramp at McDonalds, and (3) Dealing with an ignorant security guard in the library. All the students choose option 2 for me to talk about.
Here is the story:
I thought I was free from the drunken tramp. I was standing in the queue and looked to side to find that the drunken Irish tramp was standing next to me STARING at me. He was looking in a rough state and was holding a beer can. He said, “SHAKE MY HAND.” I felt uncomfortable to shake his hands because I sensed he wanted to do something sinister, perhaps spill his beer can on me. I just smiled and waved 'hello' to him.
He then began to get AGGRESSIVE and started shouting. By this point the whole of McDonalds is staring at the tramp and me. He began shouting “I came to this country and look at me, how come you come from abroad but have everything.” He sounded jealous and angry at why foreigners have homes, clothes and jobs and he is a tramp. In a way I felt sorry for him and felt that he had problems, which he needed to get off his chest, but at the same time I didn’t want to give him a counselling session as I had just come to get a strawberry milkshake. I just kept smiling and trying to remain unbothered by the man.
He then started shouting, “I have a KNIFE. I am going to STAB YOU. I am going to KILL YOU.” At this point I am thinking, “Ermm… My smiling is not getting me far.” Everyone could hear him but everyone instead just stared and watched while munching their burgers (they probably thought its free entertainment). I then said to him calmly and politely with a smile on my face, “MAY GOD BLESS YOU.” As soon as I said that he FLIPPED and started SCREAMING and shouting. Well it was more like GROWLING. He couldn’t accept that I was unbothered by his aggression and that he said he is going to kill me and instead I replied, “May God bless you.” Eventually the Manager came out and asked the man to leave before he calls the police.
I explained the concept of a ROSE to explain how Guru jee see's humanity. I asked them, "which flower is usually given to one's partner or mother to show one's love?" They replied "ROSES". Then I asked, can someone please describe the physical features of a Rose? Everyone pointed out that the beautiful rose has THORNS:
"A rose plant is used to show love through it beautiful PETALS but it also grows THORNS. Touching thorns when can bleed or prick themselves.
If I were to say "Roses are full thorns, they are dangerous and they are ugly" then I would be doing injustice to the Rose as I am denying it of its beauty. Similarly to believe or to say someone is bad through and through is denying the fact that the Divine is within that person.
Some people have more thorns than others, and therefore one wisely chooses to not associate oneself with that person and keep their distance. However still, every single person has beauty within, even if it is a small amount or very minute. When you start seeing everyone has a rose, you realise that people have negative points but positives also, then the world view changes. How you approach your enemies and friends and general public changes. This is how the Divine Mystics, the Gurus, see the world.
To end with I used a quote from the Bible to explain the Guru's Wisdom of being in a state of "ChaRdi Kalaa" (High Spirits).
Matthew 5:39 says:
“But I tell you, don't resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
What does turn the other cheek mean?
* Let others trample over you?
* Never fight back?
* Keep quiet to injustice?
Make your PYSCHE and INTERNAL SYSTEM so strong that when someone strikes you with negativity, that you do not fall down but instead you are become so strong that you can turn you other cheek PENETRATE it and still into the face of the aggressor.
The feedback from the students was good. They enjoyed learning Sikh philosophy with the examples from Sikh history, relating to everyday life.