Lessons in human kindness from the Sikh religion and a class on Humanism … A preview of this weekend’s column:

A Rope of Turbans: When Humanity is the Religion of the Moment

“Since the topic for that day’s class was the future of Humanism, we took our theme—being good with or without a belief in God—and considered several stories exemplifying thoughtfulness, kindness and compassion. Some had heard the recent news story about a group of Sikh men hiking in British Columbia who saw a couple in danger near a waterfall. The men removed their turbans, tied them together, and pulled the two people to safety. Emphasizing the setting aside, or suspension, of strict religious rules for the benefit of human welfare, it was an opportunity to highlight both Sikh belief and Humanist values.”

Story of the Sikh hikers


Categories: HumanismTags: , , , , , , , ,


  1. Hello again Chris. Thanks for acknowledging the value of this story. I live in BC and was not aware of this heroic act and using their precious turbans. I have many Sikh students at my university and the taxi service I always use is staffed by almost all Punjabi men who are very interesting and often share stories of their faith when i ask them about their history and practices. When Guru Nanak started this very tolerant religion in large part do to their own experiences with radical suppressive Hindus and Muslims in India and Pakistan of today. They are very accommodating here in our Western Canada accepting of many who immigrated and have added significantly to our economy, workforce and owning small businesses. They are also extremely centered in the home and building industry here and have built some outstanding Gurdwaras throughout the province. They are very altruistic as a culture and help the have nots regularly. Great story so thanks for sharing this in my area of hiking and fishing.

    • Yes, Marty, I thought of you in B.C. while reading that amazing story. The Sikh community apparently has much to teach other, older traditions.

      • Thanks for sharing this startling story of altruism about the Sikhs.

        In history books, Sikhs are often criticized for violence in the past. It’s great to hear of how some Sikhs showed care for others, having to briefly set aside religious rules to help.

  2. True, contrast the extreme difference of Quakers and Anabaptists versus the Reformed and Catholics in Christianity.
    Or even Dorothy Day-Thomas Merton Catholics versus rightwing Catholics.
    It’s the bright side of religion versus the horrific dark side.

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