Bullying victim converts bully to tolerance
Balpreet Kaur was standing in line at Ohio State’s University Library. Unbeknownst to her, someone took her picture and posted it online. Accompanying the photo was a degrading remark about her appearance. Others joined in as you would expect.
Balpreet is a Sikh woman who adheres to the tenets of her faith. Sikhs are forbidden from altering their appearance. She wears a black turban that covers her head when out in public. Balpreet has a hormonal condition that results in facial hair. She’s had this since she was a teenager and sees no reason to remove it.
Balpreet took the high road instead of attacking her tormentors. She responded as follows:
“Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body – it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will . . . 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.”
Balpreet’s bully took the time to read up on the Sikh religion and posted an online apology to her and her faith. He admitted his post was ignorant and stated that “It makes a whole lot of sense to work on having a legacy and not worrying about what you look like.”
In view of western ways and the emphasis on appearance being a priority, Balpreet stands out as a courageous woman that we can all learn from.