“When I think of the word Kaur it instantly makes me think of words like warrior, strength and survivor. A woman who is solid and shares her life insights with others.
I deem myself as a Kaur because I believe in God and the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib. I believe wholeheartedly in the concept of “do to others, what you wish upon yourself.” I am drawn to the concept of equality in Sikhism, especially when society continues to show examples of inequality.
Starting about a decade ago, I found myself distressed and angry at times. During those times, I found myself going to the Gurudwara and listening to kirtan to attain peace of mind. I speak Punjabi and am connected to the culture, but I admittedly know I could indulge more and learn more.
My takeaways from our ardaas is to remain humble, be you, and ultimately do better in life as a human. It connects me to beliefs that we have the opportunity to form our own lives and to prioritize kindness and happiness.
When I was younger, I tested my parents at every angle. I challenged outlooks and made it an effort to reevaluate theories and how they can be practically applied. My ideologies were so different than anyone in my family and the tension came out when I tried to fit in, rather than using my voice to express what I thought and felt.
I wasn’t first dibs or prettiest child. I was a nerd who got good grades and I was undefined…now I am defined and I can proudly say I worked hard to create that definition and be exactly who I am.
Five years ago, I moved to Nova Scotia to finish my undergraduate and masters degrees. I essentially picked up my bags from Brampton, a suburban hub and moved to the small town of Cape Breton that had only 10,000 people. I remember thinking I could be anything I wanted, meaning I could reinvent myself in any way. This thought was empowering and led me to have the best five years of my life.
In that span of time, I found myself, my uniqueness. Being the only Indian girl, among so many other culturally diverse people, I was able to see how many similarities people have. Our small town backdrop, gave me an appreciation for values like kindness, helping others, and looking at the little things in life. I met the best people in my life, all who embraced me wholeheartedly. Essentially, the experience brought out the Kaur in me.
In 2013, my younger sister was diagnosed wth leukemia. In hindsight, I can see that with every bad comes good. As a family, we were able to reevaluate our priorities. My sister showed me Kaur strength and what being a human is about. When we couldn’t find a bone marrow match within our family, we reached out to our community and the amount of support our family received was outstanding. People from all over the world, showed the importance of unity, kindness, and looking beyond yourself to help a fellow human.
My sister had health setbacks and needed second transplant, but that didn’t stop her from being a spokesperson for the cause, setting up an organization called “Will You Marrow Me”, or even stop her from organizing her upcoming wedding.
Over and over again, I keep being shown there is goodness in people’s hearts. We so easily get caught up in the world. I have witnessed so much kindness and how one person has the ability to affect a stranger with even a smile or simple ‘how is your day?’ and how appreciate what is around me."