Stay inspired, stay engaged!

Vaheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa, Vaheguroo Jee Kee Fateh!

The Summer Craze has officially begun… camp fever, smaagams on top of smaagams, and a multitude of summer projects are already taking on their course. So far, I have attended three smaagams, a local Gurmat Camp, and participated in advocacy training, with summer only having started a few weeks ago! The thirst for sangat, new friendships, and gaining knowledge is inevitable. We, as humans, are drawn to a spirit of activism, and are naturally involved creatures, wanting to be part of a community. Plus, who doesn’t love to have fun! 🙂

ATL smaagam

 

Giani Gurdev Singh Jee sings at one of the June smaagams. Pic by Bakhshish Singh

Now that summer is about to hit the halfway mark, people are starting to come back from the sleep-deprived, yet euphoric feelings of camp, smaagams, and other summer fun. The nostalgia and post-camp blues are creeping around the corner as funny pictures from camp and amazing keertan videos are being uploaded to Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Tweets about awesome lectures are being reminisced upon on Twitter, and everyone is adding their new best friends on Snapchat and creating group messages.

D.C. Selfie

 

Selfie fun in D.C.! Pic by Russel Brammer

 

After having this incredible time, everyone tends to think about all the great experiences and new friendships that they have created. Many people are inspired having spent the time with amazing Gursikhs, attending lectures and gaining knowledge, and being surrounded by so much sangat. Now that it is almost over, what’s next? Most of the thoughts crossing our minds are probably- “The next camp is a year away,” or, “I only get to go to that one smaagam in July… I guess I’ll just have to wait 12 months to have this experience again.”

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My response is: YES, you might have to wait to go to that specific camp, and YES to go to that specific smaagam, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have the same experience and keep the inspiration going the entire year! There is always something that you, as a community member, can do to build new experiences and stay engaged in the spirit of activism.

Here are some ideas that you can consider to keep not only yourself, but others inspired too!

 

 

 

Start a project that you are passionate about

  • This project can be something that is dear to your heart. Many people start projects and even support causes to keep themselves active in the Sikh community year round. One of the places you can start is right here on DVN!

 

Join an organization

  • This summer I had the opportunity to become a member and train with the Sikh Coalition as an advocate in Washington, D.C. It was an incredible experience that gave me lifelong lessons and tools, along with leadership advances.
  • If you are an introverted person and do not really want to be in a leadership position, there are always online groups that allow group member interaction, independent work, and even anonymous participation.

 

Volunteering

  • Volunteering is a great way to constantly stay involved with people and community members. There are a multitude of options when it comes to looking for volunteer work whether is be in school, outside of school, religious related, or job related. It all depends on what inspires you and what you are passionate about!

 

Set Plans of Action and Goals

  • After coming from camp and smaagam, many people often feel inspired to accomplish goals, both Sikhi and non-Sikhi related. Try to set a goal in the month; it can from memorizing Gurbani in Nitnem, to being more active in sangat, or even making a lifestyle change. Make a reasonable goal, create a plan of action, and execute it!

There are many ways to continue being inspired and make post camp and smaagam blues, into a burning fuel for continuous engagement. It all depends on picking and choosing what you as an individual are passionate about, and running with it! There is never a better time and it is never too late! Stay inspired, stay engaged!

Vaheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa, Vaheguroo Jee Kee Fateh!

Keerat Kaur is a second year student at UNC Charlotte, currently pursuing a double major in Criminal Justice and Psychology. She hopes to use her studies as a way of using mediation, advocacy, and community organizing to construct projects for engaging with minority groups in the US. She is currently interning for Dasvandh Network. 

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