I printed this little book shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks on New York’s Trade Center. I randomly distributed it in various public places … waiting rooms, banks, grocery stories, librarys … any place where it could be dropped onto a pile of reading matter and hopefully, be picked up by someone passing time while waiting for an appointment or their line in a queue.
It was my response to what I saw emerging from the aftermath of that horrific attack The increasing xenophobia and distrust of people from foreign cultures and faiths. I lost a job with a military hotel, because someone in authority assumed my Punjabi dress … which I occasionally wore … was my support for the Taliban, rather than the result of a bout of homesickness for the country I’d lived in for most of my adult life.
Hate crimes surged in the USA, many of them mistakenly targeting anyone who looked as if they might be of middle eastern extraction. Sikhs were at particular risk because of the turbans required by their faith.
And this was particularly painful for me, since I had been married in Amritsar, the holy city of the Sikhs over thirty years ago. As a bride and a recent Hindu convert, I was welcomed by both communities and was immediately taken to the Golden Temple by my family and their Sikh friends.
Today I woke up to the tragic news that a Gurdwara, or Sikh temple in Wisconsin had been targeted by a madman who had slaughtered seven people, six of them at worship. All I could think of through a haze of tears, was cupping my hands to receive prashad at the Golden Temple. Prashad was a delicious and consecrated sweet customarily offered to all visitors to the temple … devotees or otherwise. And I remember the gentle smile of the Sikh gentleman as he offered it to the young Western bride.
So I have gone back to retrieve this little book and to transcribe it for this blog. To offer it with tears and as a tribute to so many people through all of history who have died because of their faith. And every cell in my body affirms that God or Universe … Brahma or Yahweh, Gaiea or Pele, Krishna or Allah … is crying with me.
Can we not see that there is only ONE truth …. Only ONE creator …. and we are all ONE with our creator. We must see. We MUST …..
“That Brotherhood Shall Prevail”
(Motto of The International House, New York)
Published in Honolulu
Copyright 2006 © Ty-Tomkins
In gratitude for Insights given by