I know its a little bit long please bear with me. Thanks in advance. Every Sikh has his own journey. I have some thoughts on my mind I would like opinion and feedback on. I've kept my turban since I was born, during the teenage years I trimmed my beard and such, although I never did or would cut my hair(on my head). To be honest and say it in the best way I can thinkg of, the reason I trim my beard is to be more "presentable", this goes for business..social..and what else not. I've grown up in a different atmoshphere than most around me(Toronto). I've always been "respected" and "given respect" when seen in public by anyone..due to my past actions and decisions. I do definetly believe in my faith and I am more than willing to stand up for my faith and beliefs physically if the situation ever demands. I do constantly think of Waheguru and chant it repetitively with deep love. I understand what is allowed in our faith and what is forbidden. When at times people do ask me why I keep my turban but trim my beard, I say to them I am a Sikh and will always be one, and I'll let nothing change that, and above all, only the almighty can judge me. I've fought police officers in the holding cell, when they tell me I need to remove my turban, I tell them "You will have to fight me for it". I am who I am, I think the way I do, and I walk with my head held up high. Unfortunatly..I drink, I eat meat, I do bad things, I smoke marijuana (its been cut down to next to nothing, but when I ask myself if I will ever do it again, I cant say no with confidence), ive been involved in criminal activities and commited unlawful acts. Why do I eat meat? The protein benefits and almost necessary for extreme bodybuilding. Why do I drink? My people around me, we drink when we get together and have goodtimes..we drink to get drunk and buzzing, its a very common thing we do, theres nothing more to it. Why do I smoke weed? I smoke weed to relax myself, listen to music, and connect to things in a way I wouldnt be able to when not under the influence of marijuana. Why am I/once was involved in criminial activities? Im very well connected and sometimes oppertunities are put forth me that are almost exclusive. HERES MY DILEMMA: Most recently, i've been more and more eager to grow my beard, because I feel that nothing should stop me in perserving the image of my faith and I should feel proud to have a big beard and also show the youth that no..you dont have to trim your beard to be "accepted" and "look good", and that you shouldnt let anything come in your way, you should be strong, happy, and proud to be who you are and let nobody else change the way you are because they think so. This is a growing problem I see everyday around my community, alot of sikhs dont wear turbans, alot of the sikhs that do wear turbans infact a large number of them; have trimmed beards, we see this in not only teens and young adults, but adults and grown men. My problem is, that for the past few months ive grown my beard, im proud to have it and love it greatly, but I also drink, and eat meat aswell. Lets say im in public, and im at a pita shop eating a chicken wrap, or im at the lcbo picking up a bottle, I dont care what people think - I dont let it affect me, but what worries me is that, regardless of this, it gives people a wrong image, probably make them raise an eyebrow or two, and fellow Sikhs might take it as an insult and a public humiliation. Now what am I supposed to do? If I have chosen to connect more with my faith..but dont see myself quitting meat and liquor, and am not quite there yet. I know its not right, but I still do it. Im not as bad of a person as it may seem, Im on the right track..given up most of my bad habits and involvements, I have been focusing on education and development, and I have been trying to be nicer to my mother..(N)very bad! What matters to me is that I am making progess in discovering whats right and connecting myself with the more important things that life has to offer. Ive made lots of bad decisions; I regret most of them, others were unavoidable, ive learned things the hard way and been through lots of rough times, and it is probably a direct result of my actions..but people dont realize that until theyve commited it..and have to deal with the consequences and things arent done as easy as they are said. the mind plays tricks and the heart decieves. i wish for all my young ones to learn the mistakes ive made and not explore there dark side, for them to lead a better upbringing than one I have, and for them to learn from me my strengths and accomplishments and not my weaknesses and failures. My father trims his beard, my uncles trim there beards, my older cousins trim there beards, my little brothers(2) trim there beards, and my younger cousins are not yet old enough to grow facial hair, but now when they see me commiting to not trimming my beard, it makes them think twice.. and the little ones look at me with wonder. I apoligize if my story/question has insulted or angered anyone, its simply my story and its the truth, it is what it is, all I ask is if you may give me your opinion and thoughts. Full Singh with turban and beard, drinking and eating meat. PM's are welcome to anyone who may want to. Once again, I apoligize if reading my thoughts and bits of my life has insulted or angered you. Thank You for reading.