The recent hot weather, should remind us about the physical suffering of the first Martyr for the Sikh cause. Guru Arjun Dev Ji was subjected to severe torture, burning hot sand was poured over his body. His crime was that he preached tolerance. He taught that each person has the right to worship in the manner of their choice. He taught that the Truth can be found whether you are a Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew or any other faith. What was important was that you lead a Truthful Life, think of others before yourself and devotion to the Creator.
However, religious differences have always been the cause for disputes to arise, and we see the situation today is no better. Followers of different religions, often become obsessed that their way is correct. Some religious preachers also encourage their followers to actively solicit converts to their fold. But the Sikh Gurus encouraged friendship and harmony between the faiths, and did not ask anyone to become their followers. They simply taught everyone to love each other, to love Waheguru and to encourage people to live by high moral standards (Truthful Life).
The society in which we live is made up of many different faiths, most of which have similar values at their roots. The different religious traditions teach the importance of good relationships, characterised by honesty, compassion and generosity. It is these good values that we must treasure to build a society on a foundation of mutual respect, openness and trust.
We must respect all others, sometimes this means going out of our way to accommodate their needs, and even learning about their traditions. This will leave us in a good position if a potentially destructive situation occurs. We should have the knowledge and understanding to reconcile our differences and look to highlight the similarities between our faiths and set an example for others.