Vaisakhi is a day of wonder and a day of awe. While your email and social media explodes with "Happy Vaisakhi" messages, we hope at some time during the day you take a minute to reflect on what it means to you, your children and community, as well as your foremothers and forefathers. What is our present? How will it determine our future? And what would generations of Sikhs past think of us?
It was at Anandpur Sahib that Guru Gobind Singh created the Khalsa. Not the 'pure', not the 'chosen', but the Khalsa is those whose loyalty resides with the Guru. However, it wasn't enough just to say it - Guru Gobind Singh asked for us to make a sacrifice and live it. Just as Guru Nanak had asked his Sikhs to come with their head in palms, Guru Gobind Singh asked us if we would be willing to sacrifice it. If your Guru could give to you his entire family and himself, what would you give for your Guru?
In the United States, we are entering second and now even third generations. We have voiced our concerns over the lack of engagement of our youth and recently one new parent shared her feelings and worry when her daughter asked her "Mama, what's that thing on his head?" The trajectory is clear. Something different has to be done. If in most of our families our fathers and grandfathers will be the last ones that look like a Sikh, will we be the last ones that think like a Sikh?
Our Vaisakhis are declarations of war. From 1699 to 1919 to 1986, Sikhs met on Vaisakhi to swear their allegiance to the Guru and the sovereignty that was bestowed. Today, in 2016 what would you say to your ancestors? Will you have lived a life of inspiration in the way that their memory and deeds have inspired you?