Opinion Looking Different And Differently Looking

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Aug 18, 2010
World citizen!
Simran Jeet Singh
Doctoral Candidate in Religion, Columbia University

As far as I can remember, I've always looked different. In elementary school, my classmates called me a girl, a genie and Aladdin. In middle school, I was a raghead, a diaperhead and Sadam Hussein. And in high school, some kids were convinced that I was Osama bin Laden. These sorts of challenges come with looking different.

On the other hand, looking different has its advantages. People pay attention when I walk into a room. I'm noticeable and memorable. In fact, people don't forget meeting me. This is a huge benefit that comes with having a distinctive appearance.

And in my experiences, the benefits of looking different outweigh the challenges. For example, "looking different" has led me to "look differently." My Sikh identity has been linked to major moments in my life, and these unique experiences have shaped the way in which I view the world.

Like too many others, I've been discriminated against because of my unique appearance. While I wouldn't wish it on anyone else, being the target of discrimination has helped open my eyes to various types of inequalities in our world.

These experiences have taught me to identify with the struggles faced by others from diverse backgrounds and worldviews, and the resulting empathy keeps me from drawing assumptions or judgments about others.

Discrimination has also helped me build character and discipline. It's always tough to stay cool while others shout obscenities and racial slurs. But at the same time, accounting for ignorance and reacting with compassion and love have come to feature prominently in my interactions with society.

At the same time, the benefits of "looking different" do not only emerge from alienation; in fact, I've received far more support and encouragement from strangers than hate and animosity, and these interactions constantly inspire me to view the world more positively.
While it's easy to focus on the negative, I can't help but be constantly amazed by the bombardment of love and support I receive from people who appreciate the values represented by my Sikh identity.

It's this sort of optimism that makes me believe that "looking different" has played a significant role in my way of "looking differently."



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Feb 23, 2012
United Kingdom
This is a beautiful and poignant article Finding my dear brother/sister kaurhug

I never could nor can understand why people cannot lovingly accept others for their uniqueness, and humanity for its unity in diversity. We are all one buit diverse and multiform, and that is the beauty of it.

"...The nightingale
does not resent
the cuckoo's song.
But you, if I don't sing,
like you,
mock me as wrong.

While gazing at the Sun
I almost lost my sight.
The fault lies in my eye -
Not in the Light

Until One-ness
has absorbed all Otherness
no man can find
his Suchness

Love's power
to restore the broken shards
into one whole
is the supreme attainment
of the human soul

Do not malign
a single thing
for God
not only is its maker
but also its design

A ruby
is not lovelier
than a rock,
an angel
not more glorious
than a frog

In God all things are one,
he does not separate;
with me as with a gnat
does He communicate

How short our span!
If you once realized how brief,
you would refrain
from causing any beast or man
the smallest grief, the slightest pain..."

- Angelus Silesius (1624 – 1677), Catholic mystic and poet
Feb 23, 2012
United Kingdom

FYI, each name has an icon next to it for the feminine and masculine
♀ Girl
♂ Boy

wonderful quote, btw, my wife says that if you are 19 then she is the Queen of Sheba lol

lol My dear brother Harry ji peacesignkaur

How on earth have I never noticed the feminine/masculine icons? lol Thank you very much for alerting me to them! It certainly makes it a lot easier to know the gender of the person you are addressing! lol

I am so glad that you liked the quote, I love Angelus and yes I am 100% 19 years of age so I guess that makes your lovely wife the Queen of Sheba lol

Randeep Kaur

Nov 28, 2011
its very common for sikhs
even my classmates say to make hair style, to wear make-up and so on
At first I felt bad but then
my long hair ( jungle types) and not so attractive looks makes me to feel no superior ,,,and its something positive, i believe


Mar 31, 2011
Yes, this looking different makes on strong - It helps one the way of finding the truth and build up a character.

@Randeep Kaur

what do you mean , is common for Sikhs?


Dec 4, 2011
Well I'm not too sure about that.
I'im still enjoying my fame and pleasure at becoming the 'Prom King' and then eventually marrying the 'Prom Queen' !!!!!!!!

My fame at school is part of my living life now.
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Mar 31, 2011
Mhh, ok I see don´t really got your point , but it´s ok.

Edit: Ah i see , you are from german as well - Vielleicht kannst du es mir auf Deutsch erklären? :)
Last edited:

Tejwant Singh

Jun 30, 2004
Henderson, NV.
Well I'm not too sure about that.
I'im still enjoying my fame and pleasure at becoming the 'Prom King' and then eventually marrying the 'Prom Queen' !!!!!!!!

My fame at school is part of my living life now.

Lucky Singh ji,

I hope I am mistaken, but I have an inkling that you have misspelled or/and misused the word: 'Prom' by mistake. :)

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